A wider return to school for all children is on the horizon and we have seen many worries & anxieties rising amongst children and parents. Here, one Mum writes a letter to her daughter’s school highlighting their own personal wins during lockdown, but also focusing on the areas where her daughter will need additional support when she returns in the Autumn Term.


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Dear Mr Jenkins,

I wanted to say thank you for today's livestream about transition. It was great to hear from you all and to see just how seriously and carefully you're planning for September. It's hugely appreciated. 

I also wanted to share one reflection from the perspective of a parent of a child with learning difficulties. 

It does still feel as though the messaging from school is largely tilted towards children who are of average or above average academic ability. Those who mastered Google Classroom, who have diligently done all the set work and who will happily engage with extra work over the summer. 

That's just not my world, and I'm sure there are many others who will feel the same. 

My daughter's ability to learn during recent months has been entirely dependent on my availability.  Like many parents I've been working throughout lockdown. Erica wasn't able to access the work by herself, for a mix of reasons to do with navigating the technology and to do with the fact that the majority of the work hasn't been differentiated. 

Erica and I have done the best we could, and some of it has been great. But come September, it'll be a very patchy picture for her, with huge gaps in some areas. For the first 6 weeks or so all we really did was go back to basics with English and maths, and things like money and telling the time. It was invaluable, but it won't have won her any brownie points on the system. 

On behalf of my own child, I wanted to be really clear that where she is in September will not be because of a need to improve her attitude to learning. I want her to feel great about the work she's done (which is masses) and well supported in what's next, rather than her hearing lots of warning bells about her attitude and the need for her to catch up to an academic standard she is even further from now than she was in March. 

I want to say that I couldn't wish for a more responsive year team in Susan & Katie, who know Erica well and have been regularly in touch during school closure. We've had a bit of TA support, and in recent weeks Erica's been in school twice a week. So this really isn't a moan. It's more of a plea for September about making sure it's a positive start for all kids, not just the ones who've sailed through Google Classroom.