The anti-virus measures are increasingly detrimental to the education of children. Inside the school gates, they must remain in pods, which means Year 7 and Year 8 students remain in the same rooms all day, except for the occasional lesson when they are allowed to be escorted from their classroom to go to one of the science laboratories.
Sitting with the same group in the same room all day is not conducive to experiencing a full range of educational opportunities that might be expected in a secondary school.
The students of Years 9, 10 and 11 are similarly in pods, but to have access to a full education are permitted to enjoy a freedom of movement not allowed to the younger students.
The school day is disrupted by the need to keep the pods separate which means having break and lunchtimes at different times. Inevitably, this means that there will be year groups who may have lessons split in two by their morning break or their lunch.
Having lost teaching time because of the need to wipe down tables at the end of the lessons, students also lose teaching time because of the arrival of some after the due starting time caused by the one way system and the difficulties of moving hundreds of students through the corridors.
The measures are all designed to inhibit the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and might do so if they were a reflection of the realities by which the students live their lives.
The school measures are increasingly frustrating because as soon as the students leave the school grounds, they mix with whomsoever they choose. Sometimes, they have siblings who spend the day in other pods, but obviously must return to the same house.
Why continue to maintain such a school regime when the outside world carries on with a hands, face, space routine? What purpose is served in the damaging of the education of children?
It is a political gesture. It serves the government’s purpose to pretend that it is enacting robust measures while even the most sanguine of ministers would have to admit that the policies are incoherent.
It has become an article of faith for the government to keep the schools open regardless of what happens in other sectors of society. If that is the case, it might ask how schools could be supported to provide an education for their students which is not impeded by token gestures.