Returning to School During COVID-19

Now that children and young people have returned to school following lockdown, many have enjoyed seeing their friends and teachers, and returning to classroom learning again, but others may still feel unsure about all of the changes, particularly with schools being set up very differently in order to allow for social distancing.

Some may feel understandably worried, concerned, and/or confused about the changes to the normal structure and routine of school, concerns about COVID-19, the impact on them being able to see extended family and friends, and the sudden changes that may be implemented such as local lockdown measures and changing guidance.

For children with an acquired brain injury (ABI), this may be even more challenging, as they may often have additional difficulties in understanding, processing, or managing changes to routines at school and at home, as well as in managing the transition back to school-based-education after a long period of time at home. For some children with an ABI, they may have difficulty in interpreting, expressing, and talking about their thoughts and feelings relating to this, meaning their anxieties or concerns may instead present themselves in a change in behaviour.

Below are links to resources that may be helpful to you in supporting a child/young person during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is important to note that the links and information below are general resources and all schools and education settings will have their own plans regarding supporting children at this time. It is therefore important to also liaise directly with your child’s own school and local education authority regarding their own specific plans and the local support available in your area.

  • Mentally Healthy Schools – Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families. Here are a number of toolkits and resources to support children and young people’s mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic:
    • Top Ten Tips for Coping with Change
    • Toolkits focussed on mental health and wellbeing, building resilience, managing transitions

British Psychological Society (BPS) Resources – these resources have been developed to aid professionals and parents/carers in supporting young people in education during the COVID-19 pandemic and returning to school:

  • British Psychological Society (BPS) – The Psychology of Play: The Division of Educational Psychology has produced this video to provide advice for parents and carers on the psychology behind playtime and how it helps children and young people manage their emotions.

Information written and provided for the Eden Dora Trust by Dr Emily Talbot, Consultant Clinical Psychologist in Paediatric Neuropsychology