Students asking schools if they can take exams ‘next week’ because they don’t want them

Students who have sat their first outdoor summer exams in three years are telling schools they don’t feel like taking them and asking if they can make them sit “next week”. Dr Linos Jones, headmaster of Yesgol Bro Myrdine in Carmarthenshire, said schools have further work to do, stressing the importance of education to parents and children after the pandemic closures and online lessons.

“We are seeing, for the first time, with external exams, kids are calling ‘sorry, we don’t want to do it this week, we want to do it next week’. Doesn’t allow exams. People’s attitude towards education has changed during the pandemic.”

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Giving evidence on the problem of frequent and high school absenteeism in Meczyki, Dr Jones told a senaid committee that some children were missing lessons as attitudes towards education have changed in the past two years of COVID. Children and their parents did not consider education as important as they did before the school closed.

More than one in 10 children – and in some schools up to twice as many – are not taking lessons on average across Meczyki. Principals have warned that this will have dire consequences on future aspirations and life prospects.

The Senades Children’s Young People and Education Committee is investigating the school’s absence and has invited Dr. Jones and others from inside the schools to give their views. “Students’ attitude towards education is to blame for some of this absence. I think the balance between life and work has changed. I don’t think children and parents think education is as important as it used to be.” Used to happen

Asked by several MS on the committee, she and others warned that some students were expected to continue working remotely, but the blended learning workforce was under too much pressure and could not continue. The committee was told that teaching online is more than just recording a class.

“Many students feel that they can continue working online. He likes the idea of ​​learning from home. They are still under the impression that this continues. And because there are so many absences, some schools continue to do it online,” said Dr Jones, who is also a representative of the teaching union UCAC.

“It’s a very difficult situation. Our school has appointed a new Inclusion Officer. We see a lot of concern about the school environment, not just the exams. They feel that they are surrounded by large groups of people and full corridors. And cannot face classes because they have been working from home for too long.”

The committee heard that schools needed more staff to help encourage children to take face-to-face lessons. This will also include support staff to work with families.

Hannah O’Neill, NEU District Secretary for Blanau Gwent and NEU Executive Member for Meczyki, told the committee: “It’s a workload issue. Some teachers are still juggling both in the classroom and what they teach online. What I teach is not transferable online. The feedback is that teachers are under tremendous pressure and are also working online.”

Menai Jones, policy and casework officer for the NASUWT learning union, said it was not possible for teachers to continue to deliver lessons online and face-to-face, and that more staff would be needed to do so if policymakers wanted to continue with distance lessons.

“If this is going to continue the Welsh government’s policy to support children at home is going to require additional investment and the current system is not sustainable.”

NEU Cymru Policy Officer Marie van den Heuvel told the committee that schools cannot manage absenteeism alone and that working with families requires “social work and local authority support”.

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Parents’ despair over costly school trips that divide children and leave many missing

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