JAYDEN HARRIS is currently studying his A levels and will be writing guest posts for The Observer.
In this article he speaks to Myton School headteacher Andy Perry about how schools and pupils have been impacted by the pandemic.
COVID-19 has affected everyone in the UK, whether that be losing a loved one or having to self-isolate.
The effects of the pandemic on the economy are yet to be fully understood. However, many institutions and services have been affected.
Schools and education are the foundation of a childhood. They establish routines and engage children with others. So, how has the education system been affected by Covid and what lessons can be learnt from it?
Online learning has been a major hurdle. As a student myself, the impacts are unparalleled to anything I’ve seen in the last 17 years, and the country has witnessed since the Second World War.
Additionally, the three lockdowns (during two of which schools have closed) have negatively impacted some children’s mental health. Only time will tell whether the impact has been as severe as we fear.
To answer the various questions I had, I turned to my school.
Mr Perry, Myton School’s headteacher, was more than happy to provide answers.
He said that nearly every child has been affected by Covid at least once in Myton. Mr Perry went on to say in terms of leadership, Myton has adapted crisis management ‘commands’ rather than delegating certain tasks to deputy heads and others.
But there has been some positives.
He explained children going to school during school closures actually benefitted from the quieter environment and performed well. Further to that, he also said “every child can learn given the right environment” and that was shown to be true during the school closures.
Mr Perry wanted to emphasise all staff played a monumental role in supporting the Myton community, from teaching staff to teaching assistants – who worked especially hard during the school shutdown.
The staff did not complain when given tough commands, showing true spirit in a time of crisis.
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson once said that he wanted a ‘world class’ education system. He certainly has something like that here at Myton behind the scenes.
At times, the guidance was ‘messy’, said Mr Perry. Dealing with what he and his whole team of staff could do, innovative direction from above was essential.
It remains to be seen what will happen with Year 12 and Year 10’s exams, but one thing can be sure – parents should be confident in Myton School.