The ‘trauma gap’: Schools must not return to ‘business as usual’ post-lockdown
Barnardo's calls for a ‘sea-change’ in the education system and for government action to bring mental health and wellbeing education on a par with academic achievement. Pete Henshaw explains
The government cannot expect schools to return to ‘business as usual’, focusing purely on academic performance and the attainment gap – we must prioritise the ‘trauma gap’ as well.
This is the message from children's charity Barnardo's as schools begin to reopen to more young people post-lockdown.
It warns that the country's children have been exposed to ‘an unprecedented level of trauma, loss and adversity’, with those who were already vulnerable likely to have been badly affected.
A report from the charity – Time for a clean slate – says the coronavirus crisis and our measures to tackle it will have ‘exacerbated existing inequalities’, especially for children in unsafe home environments.
On top of this, the remote learning situation has made it very difficult for normal safeguarding practice to take place, meaning many problems will have gone under the radar. And many in-school wellbeing interventions ‘cannot be delivered in the current circumstances’, with children having ‘less access’ to support networks such as via SENCOs or learning mentors.
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