State schooling in Scotland, more on the DC situation, and long-term changes after lockdown

There’s an article in The Sunday Times about Scotland’s “failed lack of leadership” for state school pupils during the lockdown. This echos my own thoughts and I have wondered why there hasn’t been more criticism about this. The lack of education of state school pupils during lockdown is appalling and I really don’t think they can use technology as an excuse. If grandparents around the world can master Zoom then it should be possible for parents, teachers, and pupils. I accept that it’s not easy but they haven’t even tried. I’m not sure who is at fault here. Is it the schools, the local authority, or the Scottish government? Or all of the above?

The Dominic Cummings situation is still dominating the news. I know I’m alone in thinking we should be allowed to travel to ensure young children have appropriate care but I won’t be sad if he loses his job. Bullying is a sackable offense in my view. But we shouldn’t let our dislike for someone cloud our judgement. If we ban people from travelling to find care for their children then that affects us all, not just him, and I for one wouldn’t want to be put in that position. Many people don’t have a local social network they can ask for help from.

It has been almost 3 months since we’ve been inside a car and I rather like it. I do miss our walks in the hills and around lochs but at the same time I’m enjoying the slower pace on weekends and having the opportunity to relax, read a newspaper, bake a cake, and work in the garden. Some things are going to change permanently for the better for me even when the lockdown is fully lifted. I’m enjoying “now” more, being with my family, and also chatting and talking to my long-distance family online. I feel I appreciate the people in my life more than ever whether they be friends I happen to see when we’re out exercising or the people in supermarkets, or my blogging friends, and other online people. This reminds me of the Maori proverb:

He aha te mea nui o te ao. He tāngata, he tāngata, he tāngata
What is the most important thing in the world? It is people, it is people, it is people.

Is there anything that will change permanently for you when lockdown ends?

10 Replies to “State schooling in Scotland, more on the DC situation, and long-term changes after lockdown”

  1. I don’t get the Times so can’t see the article and its arguments, and I don’t know much about Scottish schools but an aggressive policy of decentralising decision making in English schools makes it difficult to recall that power to act quickly – there is literally no one left in charge to make the important decisions. Much is made of schools improving by learning from each other, following “best practice” and while schools have taken up this challenge admirably in general, it doesn’t work in a crisis situation.
    Also on a practical level we still haven’t got our laptops for Year 10. I am guessing there has been some bureauratic hold up on the way. One of the schools I am involved in is going to bring those pupils back to school first, as we are sending out printed materials for them each week.

    1. I thought England was doing better with online education? Is it the same as here? I don’t get The Times either but you can view a number of articles for free each month but you have to sign up for an account on their site.

      Here’s the first two paragraphs:

      If it was an exam, they would probably fail. Scottish ministers are facing a backlash from parents and educationalists over claims that pupils have been let down by state schools during the coronavirus lockdown.

      Most private schools in Scotland have continued to deliver online lessons in core subjects such as maths, English and science amid concern that council-run primary and secondary schools rely heavily on handouts, with little interaction with pupils. Parents have complained that homeschooling has affected their ability to work effectively from home.

  2. I would like to think that things change permenently for me. I tend to be a bit too busy and while that has improved recently I’m wondering if I’ll regress at the end of it. But I guess if you can manage it, I should be able to as well!
    Anyway, as you point out with your post on vaccines, there may not be a sudden end to this, we may have to learn to live with it. So maybe a change is that I would be allowed to remote work a couple of days a week!

  3. I would love to be able to continue my work from home. My time with family has been amazing, I have loved it and hope it continues 👌

    1. That’s great. I hope more employers are open to working from home going forward. I think they will have to be if we are to maintain social distancing for the long term.

  4. I hope people will drive less, now that more companies, especially the tech firms on the West Coast, are realizing most of their employees can work remotely at home rather than commute into the office. Commute times in the Bay Area can be especially brutal, since many families can’t afford to buy a home near their place of employment: there were stories of people driving as much as four to six hours a day just to get to work and back.

    I’ve discovered that I really don’t need to go to shopping/run errands every day. I’ve learned to consolidate tasks, like instead of making a separate trip to the post office, I try to mail letters and buy stamps at the little postal counter while shopping at my local grocery store. As a result, a full tank of gas in my car lasts over a month. Since I drive a compact that has good gas mileage anyway, that really saves money, energy (both the car’s and mine) and wear and tear on my car, though it’s looking quite sad since I haven’t washed it since the quarantine in my state began.

    Sadly, there’s been no discussion of expanding public transit, which has been dying since people are now scared to ride in a shared bus or train. I’m hoping once a vaccine for the virus has been found, we can go back to taking public transit, but meanwhile bus stops and train platforms have been eerily abandoned, even in New York.

    1. That’s so great – the driving less that is. I think we’re all discovering that we can make do with less and we’re all spending less. One thing I’ve noticed since we’ve stopped using the big supermarket chains is the amount of rubbish we produce has plummeted. The vegan cafe I order groceries from tries not to use single-use plastics and most of the stuff comes in paper or cardboard.

      Public transit is going to have some major challenges though. I’m not sure how they’re going to survive the next year or two without major government handouts.

  5. Students have now gone back to school here in NZ. We have had four days now (or is it five?) with no new Covid-19 cases, with just one case in the last seven or eight days. It doesn’t mean that it’s beaten, but it gives hope for containing it at least within our borders until (or if) a vaccine is available.

    That Maori proverb is a powerful reminder of what exactly is important when push comes to shove.

    1. It would be great if NZ could completely eradicate this thing but then I’m not sure how it’ll work for you for travel and tourism. But either way it’s bad for the economy and perhaps complete eradication and no tourists is still better than having to deal with lockdowns on and off for the foreseeable future.

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