Since the COVID-19 pandemic has swept the world there have been a lot of changes at the home and workplace, but what about the schools that PM Boris Johnson is trying so hard to keep open and the social cost of the safety measures?

Before the current situation, schools have never been properly shut for long periods of time. This rare phenomenon has happened but a handful of time, older readers may recall the 1970’s Blackouts. This was caused by miner strikes and the subsequent electrical shortages that lead to the most severe rationing of a material since the second world war; Even in these trying times schools were kept open to either half days or only three days a week.

After coming out of a 6-month lockdown a lot has changed for adults and students alike. The most shocking difference however is the safety precautions, it is important to follow the guidelines to protect the people around you, but in times like these people are less connected than ever. Teachers at Saint Olaves Grammar school in Orpington have said that “…it is hard to teach in masks..” and it seems students share the same attitude “I can’t hear you, speak up…” being a common phrase.

Times have changed and to keep others safe the way people communicate with friends and colleagues must change too. However, with the strain on educational interactions it is unclear how long we can continue to smile only on the inside.