GIVING PARENTS AND FAMILIES A VOICE
Our campaign is calling for:
Children and education to be the government’s priority during the pandemic
All children to be safely back in school
Homeschooling to be significantly improved in the event of further lockdowns and if classes/year group bubbles need to isolate
How to show your support
Please join your voice to ours in one of the following ways
Follow & share on social
Follow us on social and share your support for this campaign with your network.
If you would like to contact us directly please use email@example.com
What makes for good
We are here to represent the views of parents and guardians. If you haven't already please have your say or share your experiences on home learning during the pandemic.
We heard from thousands of parents and guardians from across the country when we sent a request out in July asking for feedback on the 'lockdown' home schooling experience. We are so grateful to everyone who took the time to tell us candidly about their home schooling experiences, for themselves as parents/guardians and also for their children.
We have read every single story and they are all included in our submissions to the Education Select Committee.
Your back to school
Thanks so much to all those who have sent us lovely words of thanks and support over the last few months. We really appreciate all your kind messages.
We are still working hard to encourage the government to prioritise children and education during the pandemic and especially through the difficult time ahead.
One key focus area for us now is the monitoring of homeschooling and making sure schools have the resources they need. The provision provided last term was inconsistent across the country and the government needs to provide clear minimum standards, funding and proper monitoring to ensure no child is left behind in the pandemic.
Thanks so much again for supporting our campaign.
We started our campaign to give parents a voice in the debate on education in the pandemic. Sept for Schools was set up in early June 2020, after the UK had been in lockdown for more than two months and schools had been closed to most children. Research reported in national media at that time showed that homeschooling and access to learning had been inconsistent across the country, with disadvantaged children faring particularly poorly.
Research showed that the closure of schools was having a negative impact on children’s physical and mental health and wellbeing. We could see that parents had little or no voice in the national debate on these issues.
We wrote to MPs asking them to support our campaign for a clear, funded and practical plan to be in place by 13th July to enable all children to safely return to school in September. One of our local MPs, Munira Wilson, took up our cause in Parliament, sponsoring Early Day Motion 621 on 17th June (link to EDM). This motion urged the government to work together with head teachers, parent bodies, unions and local authorities to urgently devise and publish a plan to safely resume education in September. Within a week, the motion had been read in the House of Commons and had cross-party support from Tory, Labour, Lib Dem and Green MPs including Robert Halfon MP and Aspana Begum MP, the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Education Select Committee.
On 19th June the Secretary of State for Education announced that provision would be made for all children, in all year groups, to be back at school in September.
On 2nd July guidance was published for the full reopening of all schools.
On 3rd July we asked parents, via our Social Media channels, what their experience had been of homeschooling.
WHAT HAPPENED NEXT?
We were inundated with hundreds of responses within the first 48n hours. We collated all of them into one document and sent it to the Education Select Committee. We wrote two further submissions to the Education Select Committee – one with suggestions on how to improve homeschooling and one that included every story sent to us once our campaign featured on the BBC, with over 2000 stories in total (2nd Sept published by the Education Select Committee).
We wrote to Gavin Williamson MP including a summary of all 3 submissions. We have yet to hear back.
We created a Survey for parents to give feedback on their experience of their children's return to school.
We called ourselves Sept for Schools but the campaign to prioritise children and education in the pandemic continues into Oct and beyond.
According to latest data from the DfE, there are now 553 secondary schools partially closed for Covid related reasons.
The government needs to ensure that teachers and students can quickly access tests and that homeschooling has clear minimum standards, funding and monitoring for the many students who now find themselves back learning from home
We are considering forming a body for the duration of the pandemic that gives a voice to parents, on behalf of their children, on education matters.
Our letter to
Gavin Williamson MP
We have written to Gavin Williamson and requested a meeting to share the views of parents from around the country on their experience of homeschooling. We have yet to hear from him.
Here is a copy of the letter we sent.
The BBC picked up on our campaign and our request for feedback on homeschooling and featured it on their news website on 8th July.
Our recommendations for improving homeschooling were featured on Sky News and in regional and local media on 6th August.
Our campaign and recommendations for improving homeschooling as featured in the Sunday Times Magazine on 30th August
Click to read the latest related news item and follow us on social to comment, like and share
The September for Schools campaign was set up in June 2020.
It is run and personally funded by the September for Schools Working Group of four parents.
Katya Speciale firstname.lastname@example.org