Lockdown measures intended to stem the spread of the CCP virus have caused a regression in children’s basic skills and learning, a new report has revealed.
As part of the lockdown measures adopted by the British government in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which was caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, all schools in England were closed in March and stayed shut until the new school year began in September. Only children of key workers were allowed to go to school.
Some children who were hardest hit by school closures and restrictions have even forgotten how to use a knife and fork, said education watchdog Ofsted in a report published on Tuesday.
“The impact of school closures in the summer will be felt for some time to come—and not just in terms of education, but in all the ways they impact on the lives of young people,” said Ofsted Chief Inspector Amanda Spielman.
“We have now entered a second national lockdown. This time, at least, schools, colleges, and nurseries are to remain open. That is very good news indeed,” she said.
The report found that some children of all ages and backgrounds have lost some basic skills and learning as a result of school closures and restrictions on movement.
Some young children whose parents were unable to work more flexibly, and who experienced less time with parents and other children, have lapsed back into nappies, while others have forgotten how to eat with a knife and fork, or lost their early progress in numbers and words.
Many older children now lack stamina in reading and writing; some have lost physical fitness; and others are showing signs of mental distress, manifesting as an increase in eating disorders and self-harm.
Inspectors found children’s experiences “weren’t necessarily determined by privilege or deprivation.” Rather, those who are coping well have good support structures around them and have benefited from quality time spent with families and carers.
On Nov. 5, England went into a second national lockdown. But unlike in the first lockdown, schools, colleges, and universities are allowed to stay open.
“We cannot let this virus damage our children’s futures even more than it has already,” said Prime Minister Boris Johnson when he announced the measures.
Ahead of the reopening of schools in September, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said that the loss of schooling due to lockdown measures could “put a huge dent” in children’s future life chances.
The UK’s chief medical officers also said that missing out on their education poses much bigger risks to children than catching the CCP virus.