Inclusion Ambassadors share experiences of school after lockdown
11 December 2020
The impact of school closures on exams, ongoing issues around teacher support and continued concerns about the spread of Covid-19 are key issues raised by young people in a recent meeting discussing their experiences of returning to school after lockdown.
Asked about their return to education, the Inclusion Ambassadors presented a mixed picture of their success at settling back into school life.
Some spoke highly of schools trying to maintain normality, and attempts of teachers to ensure no pupil was left behind. However, many highlighted that restrictions now placed on schools and teachers were having a negative impact on interactions and pupil support, with high levels of teacher absence meaning a lack of consistent, appropriate support.
Elaine Kerridge, Children in Scotland’s Policy Manager (Participation), who manages the Inclusion Ambassadors project said:
“We wanted to get a sense of how the young people felt things were going with their return to school, especially with some still operating under a number of significant restrictions.
“Although some complimented the attempt to maintain a semblance of normality and efforts to ‘check-in’, we were disappointed to hear that many felt they were getting less support now than they were prior to March.
“We have consistently called for targeted and tailored support for children and young people who require additional support for learning. This is the call our young people are also making. It cannot become a casualty of Covid. The future of our young people cannot be compromised any further.”
The Inclusion Ambassadors reiterated their call for teachers to listen to the support they need, and to acknowledge a heavy-reliance on digital or remote learning could often be problematic for those who require additional support for learning.
The Inclusion Ambassadors are a group of secondary-school aged pupils with a variety of additional support needs. They attend a range of education provision across Scotland, most in mainstream schools.
The group of youngsters shared their experienced and voiced their concerns at a December meeting, run by Children in Scotland.