Although it became known early in the pandemic that Covid poses only a very minimal risk to children, evidence of the damage caused by the government’s response to societal lockdown is mounting almost daily, according to an investigation. A new report from Ofsted on the impact of lockdown on children and schools’ attempts to recover from it suggests children have returned after months and months of isolation more anxious about socializing, more tethered to technology and lagging behind in the most basic educational and life qualities.
The report revealed that children are struggling more than ever to complete the most basic tasks.
He said, “More kids needed help putting on their coats and blowing their noses…
“A growing number of providers were concerned that fewer children had learned to use the toilet independently.”
Ofsted suggested that because of these shortcomings, more children may not be ready for school by the age of four.
He raised other concerns about obesity and dental health.
A teacher trainer working at a primary school in north London told Express.co.uk they had noticed similar traits in their pupils.
They said, “In fifth grade [ages nine to 10] so many children don’t know how to tie their shoelaces.
“It’s always helpful to remember that their last full year of school was sophomore [when they were aged six to seven]. Everything is impacted. »
Citing another example of an important basic skill that many of her students lack, the teacher trainer added: “They can’t tell the time because it’s always taught towards the end of the second term, so the last times they were taught in person [at school] was the second year.
READ MORE: Children speak in different accents after TV lockdown time
They added that home schooling, which often took place over Zoom, was not enough to teach such skills because “the only way to learn the time is to physically practice putting in hours on a clock in front of you”.
In damning condemnation of many children’s downfall from this learning environment, teachers said “it was like teaching them a foreign language so late”.
Few of the findings in Ofsted’s report represent new trends. Much of what is described has been happening for some time – although perhaps not as widely covered – but appears to have been significantly exacerbated by numerous long-lasting lockdowns.
Some schools, for example, have been forced to employ professional “nappy changers” and toothbrushing “supervisors” for some years due to the inability of their students to perform the most basic tasks that historically , would have been brought under control at home.
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More than five years ago, a Welsh dental health expert claimed that parents “don’t realize” they should brush their baby’s teeth, for example.
Another warned shortly after that some parents put carbonated drinks and sugary milkshakes in baby bottles, leading to rotting teeth.
The government revealed in 2018 that nearly a quarter of five-year-olds suffered from tooth decay, a figure that has likely risen since.
The latest reports from Ofsted build on these concerns, noting that education providers have highlighted growing problems with obesity and dental health.
He added “they have focused on providing well-balanced, nutritious meals and increasing the time spent in physical activity to address these issues”, but many teachers pointed out that the problem starts at home and that schools do not receive enough support to take over. .
Some also pointed to the need for schools to teach such basic acts of independence, which is time consuming compared to other important issues that will require more remedial sessions later.
Responding to reports on the impact of the lockdown on children, a Department for Education spokesperson told Express.co.uk: “Our ambitious recovery plan continues to roll out across the country, with almost £5 billion invested in high-quality tutoring, world-class training for teachers and early years practitioners, additional funding for schools and an extension of time spent in colleges by 40 hours a year.
“We have simplified the national tutoring program to reach as many pupils as possible, with funding going directly to schools from next year. The Nuffield Language Early Intervention Program is also used by the majority of schools to improve the language skills of children of reception age.