Operating any outreach project that goes into UK schools is currently difficult if not impossible, due to the restrictions in place governing both schools and social distancing.
Looking forward into the Autumn term things are looking better, however the ‘sword of Damocles’ of uncertainty still hangs over our heads. I am gaining new clients, but some regulars have decided not to bring outsiders into their schools before Xmas. This is fine, however I genuinely fear many small operators will no longer be in business by then.
I have taken ALL the steps I can to make my operations as ‘covid compliant’ as possible, I have installed better air circulation, provided face masks, provided hand sanitiser (all at no extra cost to clients) I have translated my planetarium show into a stage show for places where social distancing is still a concern. Yet despite all this Schools are reticent to book.
What else can an operator do? I will not fold, but I am using my pension funds to stay afloat! I genuinely fear for education here in the UK right now, it is not the teachers or even the schools themselves, but we are depriving 40-50% of our children half a year of proper education! and moving forward if fear prevents normality resuming, where does this leave schools, students and folk such as me?