Greg Smith MP has welcomed news that the Covid-19 “bubble” system in schools is it be scrapped, making life more normal in classrooms once more.
Commenting, Greg said: “The various restrictions introduced to combat Covid-19 have had a profound impact on all of us, but I continue to believe the section of our society who have suffered the most as a result of restrictions are our children and young people. They have faced unprecedented changes in the way they live their lives, at a stage of their lives when change is most difficult. We have asked them to cope with a lot. Many have suffered extreme anxiety, not least those with key examinations and assessments coming up. In short, children have not been allowed to be children, for the younger ones to play with friends as they normally would, for the older ones to socialise, to learn together and grow up together. Most of all, their education, no matter what age, has suffered. One recent report estimates there have been a billion school days lost to the pandemic. It is a shocking statistic that as it stands today, some 642,000 children are off school due to the bubble system.
“We know that children are the least affected by Covid. For those that do unfortunately catch the virus, it is a very mild illness for them. Indeed a major study found that the chances of children becoming seriously ill from Covid was “vanishingly small”.
“I was therefore delighted when the Secretary of State for Education set out plans to end the bubble system and get the classroom much more back to normal for the new school year in September.
“I did take the opportunity to raise with him the continuing anxiety for many - on both sides of this particular debate - over the uncertainty on whether children would be offered Covid vaccines - and urged him to redouble efforts to work with Ministerial colleagues in the Department of Health and Social Care to push the JCVI to bring forward their recommendations, so this additional anxiety can be lifted from young people and their families.”