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 in school
A properly funded plan to help children recover
We called ourselves Sept for Schools back in 2020 but the campaign to prioritise
children and education in the pandemic continues into 2021 and beyond
WHY WE STARTED
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.
WHAT WE DID
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 with suggestions on how to improve homeschooling and is featured on the BBC. We received over 2000 stories in total. These were all submitted to the Education Select Committee.
We wrote to Gavin Williamson MP including a summary of all 3 submissions.
We created a Survey for parents to give feedback on their experience of their children's return to school.
For September 2021, the government need to work collaboratively with the education sector and do whatever it takes to keep children in school.
There needs to be an ambitious plan to help children recover from the impact of school closures and addresses the inequality gap, learning loss and rising mental health issues in young people.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Share your views
Tell us your views on UK schools and education
What is your view on children going back to school in Sept 2021?
What measures need to be in place if any? What are your thoughts on UK education after the last year? Has your view changed?
Tell us anything and everything!
We heard from thousands of parents and guardians from across the country when we sent a request out in July 2020 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 read every single story and they are all included in our submissions to the Education Select Committee.
Read the BBC News Article here based on some of the initial feedback.
Link to the first Education Select Committee Report (CIE0303)
Link to the second Education Select Committee Report (CIE0329)
Link to the third Education Select Committee Report (CIE0370)
The BBC picked up on our campaign and our request for feedback on homeschooling and featured it on their news website on 8th July.
BBC News Article: "homeschooling has been hell", say parents
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
The Sunday Times: “It’s been a nightmare”: why home schooling in lockdown was a lottery
As we face a spring term of school closures, you feedback is included in recent coverage on the impact of homeschooling on families in these articles.
The Sunday Telegraph: 'My child is a sweetheart in the classroom – but at home refuses to write a sentence'
As the impact of lockdown on children's mental health becomes clear we were able to highlight parents stories in this article 29th January 2020
The Guardian: "Behind closed bedroom doors, a teenage mental health crisis is brewing"
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.
Co-Founder and lead contact