The challenges of living with Covid-19 in schools | Portsmouth High School

The challenges of living with Covid-19 in schools

I read with some horror and a little bit of amusement a Head’s blog published in a national newspaper. They wrote “I’m utterly exhausted from an evening dealing with a shed load of parent emails and negative social media posts because one child has tested positive”.

My heart went out to them in two ways – one because we too had just had a confirmed case of a pupil positive Covid test and secondly because I know that I am fortunate as this description was generally not my experience. I had some lovely supportive emails from parents who know we have their daughter’s safety as the rationale for the decisions we make and made. Yes, it is true that a truly small selection decided to be negative on social media but It is worth keeping in mind that we do not receive any information that is not out there for all to decipher. Decisions have to be made quickly too and through messaging apps news travels faster than we can get our communications out. We have learned from this experience and whilst I hope it does not happen again perhaps I am being too hopeful and it is a case of “when” not “if”.  We keep reinforcing the messages of hygiene, hand washing and staying one metre (at least) away from each other. However, the girls just can’t resist that hug they are so used to giving and I have enormous sympathy for them. Living in a time of Covid is no fun for anyone but especially the teenagers who have had their freedom seriously curtailed. They might be anxious about their long-term future as the country faces a recession likely to hit hard as they enter the job market. They have the optimism of youth, however, and they remain pragmatic and level-headed in school.

I was delighted that our Duke of Edinburgh teams enjoyed the weekend, walking and camping, a little like old times. We were pleased to be able to offer them this opportunity to complete one level and start another. My thanks go to the staff who gave up their time to provide support : Mrs Marshallsay; Mr Oliver and Mrs Kopitsa.