Author Michael Morpurgo voices fears over ‘price of Covid' for children

The former children's laureate said there was a ‘lack of understanding by the Government'.

Sir Michael Morpurgo has warned that many schoolchildren may never grow out of the “post-traumatic stress disorder” caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The former children’s laureate, 77, claimed the Government lacked an understanding of the ways in which children had been negatively affected by school closures.

He stressed the importance of the companionship offered in the classroom.

Royal visit to Devon and Cornwall
Sir Michael Morpurgo with the Prince of Wales (David Rose/Daily Telegraph/PA)

Sir Michael told Radio Times: “I am worried about the price of Covid for children, the lack of understanding by the Government.

“That it is alright to stress children out with exams, and that being the be-all and end-all.

“What children need above all are their fellow children. That’s what they were missing – companionship, the normality of going into school.

“It was difficult for us (adults) and impossible for them to understand.

“You can see the post-traumatic stress disorder that will happen to many thousands of them as they’re growing up. They’ll never grow out of this trauma. It’ll remain part of them.”

Sir Michael, author of books such as War Horse, Kensuke’s Kingdom and Private Peaceful, said society needed to look at why we educate.

“Is it a crammer for universities, or is it about children’s self-worth and their lives?” he asked.

“Homeschooling has been an eye-opener for parents, many of whom have got to know their children much better.

“Providing we can treat children properly from now on, and give them opportunities to fulfil themselves, they can recover, but only if we change the way we think about education.”

Read the full interview in Radio Times, out now.

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