While there are many great reasons to live in Dulwich, education is a critical factor for many households in the area. With commuter options in the area allowing convenient travel across the capital, finding a convenient location for a suitable school is a pressing issue for the people who look to buy in the area.
Dulwich College announced plans to re-open in June, with students remaining in their bubble throughout the day. A bubble consists of fifteen students and two teachers. If anyone in the bubble contracts COVID-19, the entire bubble will be forced to self-isolate.
The headmaster, Dr Spence, spoke to local media saying; “If you balance the educational, the social, the economic and the health, I think it’s reached the stage now, with the ‘R’ number falling sufficiently in London, for us to say it’s worth going back. If infections rise, we’ll close up and go back to lockdown, but we’ll never know that until we’ve tried it.”
The headmaster continued by saying; “There are kids who need to get out of the house across the country, be it for their learning, to socialise, or for their safety. If we don’t open, we’re almost saying that we don’t support them. We must also let our parents get back to work. So, even if educationally we don’t have to open this week, I feel – at risk of sounding a bit pious, that we have a moral obligation to.”
There are many thoughts on when schools should re-open
While there will be many opinions as to when schools should return, and how, it is fair to suggest that individual schools should have an input into when they return. While there are valid reasons for issuing a return date to all schools or at least all schools in an area, this fails to acknowledge the unique nature of many schools.
Right now, there will be some schools and campuses that would be able to welcome children back safely, albeit with a few changes. However, there are also many schools which would be incapable of welcoming children back safely.
The Dulwich College headmaster continued by saying; “Every school must look at its own situation and constraints. If you halved our campus we wouldn’t be able to come back, so I’m absolutely in sympathy for any school that says it can’t. I think it’s absolutely right that the government has made reopening optional, rather than giving a three-line whip, as it originally sounded like they would.”
Support is on offer to households who need it
Another issue which must be considered is the financial implications of COVID-19, and how this will impact some of the pupils at institutions such as Dulwich College. There is acceptance that many household’s financial status might have changed due to the pandemic, and this can impact on a child’s education.
The leadership team at the school have announced they will not make a profit this term, and any savings will be returned to parents. They have vowed to ensure the rebate is at least 15% of the fees for the term, which stands at £7,082 for the term.
Some families have said they are happy to waive their rebate, which will offer further support for the school. The school has already been in the media for its decision to furlough 80% of its non-teaching staff. This is another area which has sparked debate across the country, with many questioning whether it is right to furlough some staff but not all, and whether firms in a more robust financial position should have benefited from the furlough system.
The school has been proactive in producing medical visors, which have been provided to local hospitals, care homes and pharmacies. The school has also worked with the army to offer a testing centre at the school, providing testing for keyworkers.
At Hunters Forest Hill, we know selling property is challenging, but we are here to assist you in the process. If you aim to buy, sell, let your home or rent property, we are active in New Cross, Peckham, Dulwich and Brockley, in addition to Forest Hill, so get in touch with one of the top three agents in London, and we will be happy to assist you.