COVID-19 completely changed the way many things were done in schools, but as government rules are relaxed, there are actually LOTS of measures parents want to remain in place ... for good.
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COVID-19 completely changed the way schools operated almost overnight – with dozens of rules and restrictions brought in to help keep our children safe.
From staggered start times to pupils not being allowed to get changed for PE in school – the changes were big and bold and have been firmly in place since schools first reopened in June 2020.
But from 19 July – also known as Freedom Day, the government has told schools they can remove bubbles and scrap the majority of the rules which were brought in to help reduce COVID-19 risks.
As we move to step four of the government's road map to the easing of restrictions, the only rules the government has told schools to keep are to:
It means pupils will be able to join each other in assemblies again, they will be able to have lunch together and won't be required to wear face masks.
But there are some measures parents brought in due to COVID-19 which parents and teachers would like schools to voluntarily choose to keep in place for good – to help make everyone's lives easier.
On Twitter, primary school headteacher Amanda Wilsonasked parents what's the one COVID-19 rule they would like to remain in place, and there was plenty pf responses.
Here's the top 14 rules parents and teachers want to stay.
Nothing gets lost, no one is wearing odd socks or someone else's jumper! No one forgets their kit because they've got it on AND parent's don't have to label EVERYTHING!
Parents don't have to arrange for a babysitter, there's no awkwardness between separated parents AND teachers know there's a cut off point so the whole evening runs on time.
'The impact on attendance is great – no finding childcare for younger siblings or dragging them along, five minute timer, everyone HAS to stick to appointments, parents don't have to juggle work/home/school for 30 mins of appointments. #winner'
'Online parents evenings. The only experience in 18 years of teaching where it stays to time!'
Younger kids don't get pushed around by the older kids and there's more room for everyone on the playground, likely resulting in less injuries and accidents.
Teachers say being able to log onto meetings from their classrooms has saved them time.
5. Kids using their own equipment
Strict COVID-19 rules meant children were not allowed to share, this resulted in no arguments over whose turn it was to use the scissors!
6. No parents on the school site
Teachers have enjoyed the 'speedy dismissal' at the end of the day and parents have enjoyed being able to wait in the playground, instead of try to be at multiple school doors at once.
Instead of every man and his dog, with a pram trying to squeeze through the school gates at the same time every morning, parents say they have enjoyed a staggered start time - but only at the schools which allowed siblings to be dropped off together.
'Can I vote a million times over for split lunches with kids kept away from other years – so much calmer.'
Instead of every child having to gather in the hall, children have been able to take part in assemblies from the comfort of their own seats.
Saves time, and stops the spread of germs.
This won't be supported by many parents, but one teacher said:
'A no parent sports day. Greater focus from the children and no paparazzi storming the track to get that shot of a five year old in wellies trying to win a dressing up race.'
One parent said: 'Looking out for kids mental health and prioritising it.'
11. No kids in school if they're slightly unwell
Many parents would agree that before COVID-19 they would send their child into school with a cold. Since last March schools have been a lot stricter about having poorly children in, meaning less germs all round.
Teachers have said a one-system around the school and school grounds has eliminated 'chaos' within schools.
One teacher said: 'Library trolley in addition to the library!
'The children have loved having it arrive in their class.'
We think the teacher was just joking here! But perhaps not!
What COVID-19 measures would you like to remain in place once schools return in September? Have your say in our chat thread below.
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CHAT: What COVID-19 rules would you like to see remain in place in schools?
The nasty virus hospitalising children at an alarming rate