'The joy has been sucked out of the classroom post-lockdown,' headteacher says

6 May 2021, 12:07

By Tim Dodd

Headteacher David Lee Allen says staff are having to work 'incredibly hard' to get engagement from children as they struggle to socialise post-lockdown.

Speaking to Nick Ferrari, David said that clinically trained staff who are working with their most vulnerable pupils are using "the language of trauma" to describe the struggles children are facing after months of lockdown.

It comes as ONS data reveals rates of depression have more than doubled since before the coronavirus pandemic, with young people - especially women - hit the hardest.

"Students aren't being disrespectful, they're just very, very quiet. They're all in their masks in the classroom - the joy has been sucked out of the room," David said.

Having seen students "stand around on their screens", he said the school is now considering a ban on mobile phones, saying: "Is it just going to be better to force the students into situations where they are talking?"

"We are looking at our school improvement planning and basing it around the idea of a trauma-informed school."

Nick Ferrari then asked David to define a "trauma-informed" school.

He responded: "If you've got every teacher using the same language and having a better understanding then, the phrase that one charity uses is that you are 'picking up the students as they are falling, not once they've fallen', so early intervention to pick up and support these young people.

"Some people have said this thing of young people have just got to get on with it, and you know, we've all suffered it. But of course, they haven't got the life experience to fall back on to put it into some kind of context.

"We're hearing stories of students not leaving their bedrooms, never leaving the house, and all they see on the news is images of death rates, hospitals and people in masks."

Nick added: "And they see mum and dad nervous and not seeing grandparents, it's just a perform storm for these kids."