A recent study conducted by SchoolDash and Edukit was conducted to find out how pupils have coped during the coronavirus lockdown. There are clear implications which we’ve all undoubtedly discussed at length, however, having real data from actual pupils allows us to get an accurate representation of the truth. This allows us to analyse the extent to which there may be mental health issues arising, and plan accordingly! There is also an implication of future school behaviour being affected, where children return and prove to be more of a problem than teachers anticipated.
A child’s day is usually their most sociable time, especially on their breaks and lunchtimes. Many older children will also commute to school with their friends and have an opportunity to talk and interact then. Due to the lockdown, children have been forced to miss out on this time which they probably took for granted! Now, being out of this routine, it’s natural for them to feel lonely sometimes, especially those without siblings!
SchoolDash’s report states: “Feelings of loneliness are widespread especially among older pupils. Up to Year 8, around a third of respondents report feeling lonely “a bit” or “very often”, but for Years 12 and 13 this proportion was more than half, with 20-25% saying that they “very often” feel lonely. Based on these responses, we estimate that 800,000-900,000 pupils at state schools in England may be feeling lonely “very often”.”
Many pupils expect and rely on schools to aid them with their mental health issues. In-house school counsellors and teachers expertly trained in safeguarding are important in the lives of countless pupils and throughout the lockdown, they will have been missed.
SchoolDash’s report says: “Secondary pupils are much more likely to say that their school has not provided sufficient wellbeing and mental health support, with around 20% of respondents in Years 9-12 saying “not really” or “not at all”.
“Many children have said that they felt generally upset about the situation, while around 10-15% said that they lack sufficient personal space and about 5-10% of most year groups reported being uncomfortable at home”
From this we can infer that many children will likely return to school with worsening mental health issues which were difficult for schools to investigate during lockdown.
Many children will have felt disconnected with their studies and with general life as their activities have been limited. This can often resort to toxic behaviour, where children misbehave as a novelty. Without proper discipline and teaching this can become a serious problem which can lead to disruption in and out of the classroom.
Some key statistics from SchoolDash’s report are as follows:
The rest of this incredible report can be found here
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