EMOTIONAL wellbeing should be at the top of the curriculum when schools re-open according to a national survey answered by Scottish parents and carers.
Over half of parents in Scotland say they want schools to reopen with a focus on considering children’s emotional needs as well as their academic ones.
The research claims that most parents think a carefully managed transition and emotional support will be key to helping children cope with a return to the classroom.
Parents and carers believe that supporting the emotional wellbeing of their children is as important as learning, according to the 1515 parents and carers from across Scotland who responded.
But Mary Glasgow, the charity’s Chief Executive of Children 1st said: “With all the discussion of longer school days, less holidays and general focus on formal learning as opposed to the wider social and emotional needs of children, it felt like the voices of families and children were being lost in the debate.
“That’s why we directly asked families what they would need to recover from the pandemic so they can cope with a return to school – and they have told us that many children will need support with their emotional wellbeing when they return to school.
“As we move closer to schools fully reopening, I urge the Scottish Government and the Scottish Education sector to listen to the voices of these families who are telling us that children’s wellbeing and self-confidence must be at the heart of the school’s response to Covid recovery.”
“We know that this year has been hard for all of us, but with the right support in place parents and carers are telling us that children can overcome any negative effects of lockdown.”
Those responding to the charity’s survey also said that the biggest challenges they have faced during lockdown are around balancing their work and children’s needs, and helping their children maintain relationships with friends and family.
Returning to routines was the biggest concern about schools reopening, with over 60% of parents and carers citing it as a worry.
It comes after calls were made this week for Scottish school days to be extended and school holidays to reduce.
One respondent to the survey, said:“We need to focus on wellbeing. The impact all of this uncertainty has had on children is immense, even if they aren’t necessarily outwardly upset.
“Catching up on missed education is so important but we need to recognise the level of disruption they have all been through and support them positively to transition back into yet another change of routine.”