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School is the best place for children to be

Hidden slightly sheepishly in the Government’s latest virus lockdown explanations is the statement "senior clinicians still advise that school is the best place for children to be, and so they should continue to go to school." This blog is never intended to be political, nor should it be, but it does seem slightly odd that, whatever the merits of following clinical advice in policy matters medical, it should be clinicians’ advice on schools which is used to justify keeping them open. Perhaps not even educationalists are the experts here: the welcome news is surely because we ALL know, instinctively, that children should be in school.

Of course there are exceptions, of course there are holidays, of course there are individual crises which all prevent this, but why do we know it’s where children should be? Because we know they learn best and develop best alongside peers, because they mostly thrive on structure and routine … and indeed, as we parents all know, on developing a second life away from home, which will enable them to fly the nest. Selfhood, as C Day Lewis wrote, begins with walking away, and the first independence (which often hurts us secretly as parents so much) is a demonstration of love as well as what I suppose I can’t avoid calling the circle of life.

Anyway, I’ve said often enough that our core purpose, our moral purpose, is educating our boys, here, on site, in the broadest and most challenging way we can. Or perhaps it can’t be said often enough. Clearly it will be a long and tough winter, and one I hope families have been able to prepare for with a break. But we will be here for you, because that is what we do, and we’re carrying on doing it.

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