School closures have amplified the inequalities in educational provision and home circumstances that can affect educational engagement and progress and ultimately the life chances of our young people.
The lockdowns which have forced children to have to learn from home have exposed the gaps that have always existed between young people who have the physical resources and family support to flourish in their education and those who face a constant battle against lack of resources, lack of parental support ( or simply parents without sharp elbows) and vulnerabilities that make them susceptible to falling behind in their education, truanting or even exclusion.
School is a safe haven for many but even when schools are open and functioning normally they cannot offer 24 hour support and care to the most vulnerable.
Time away from school will increase the marginalisation, loss of ambition and hope and lack of mission that many young people struggle with and as we come out of the pandemic there are likely to be more behavioural problems in school, bigger gaps in attainment between advantaged and disadvantaged groups and more and more families struggling to offer a safe, stable, secure and stimulating environment for their children.
Even when they are back at school there will be many young people who lack a space to work, equipment and broadband access, parental support or an adult to cheerlead and advocate for them.
The young people who come out of this pandemic even more disadvantaged than they were at the start deserve the chance to have opportunities lavished upon them and all of our boarding schools can offer this. The wealth and assets of the private educational sector can be shared with those who stand to benefit most. Institutions that advertise themselves as providing the very best must share.