By Luke Edwards.

CHILDREN who have lost 'routine, structure, friendship' over lockdown may now suffer 'anxiety, trauma and bereavement', an Oxford professor has warned.

Barry Carpenter, a specialist in mental health in education, believes these losses could have a major impact on students’ learning ability as they return to school in September.

Prof Carpenter wrote: “It would be naive of any headteacher/ principal to think that the child will pick up the curriculum at exactly the same point at which they left it on the day their school closed.

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"Too much has happened. Listen to what the children are saying. Look at what the children are experiencing. None of this follows the usual pattern of a school year with all of the annual cycle of events.

"It feels like a period of true social disorder. Compassionate leadership is crucial.”

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To combat this, the Oxford Brookes professor has designed a 'recovery curriculum' which schools could use.

The curriculum aims to help rebuild children's confidence in learning.

The proposal centres around five key points:

1. Rebuilding relationships between teachers, pupils and their parents

2. Understanding the needs of the student community

3. Being transparent about what students are being taught

4. Ensuring students know which learning methods suit them best

5. Providing a space of equal opportunity, given lockdown’s ranging level of impact on different students

Prof Carpenter told the Oxford Mail: "By September, parents will have had a lot of time with their children in an education-type role.

"Six months is a long time in a child’s learning career, so they might want to share their child’s responses to the online learning set by the school.

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“The longer this has gone on, the more joy of learning has gone.

"They need to give teachers a profile of their child at the point of their return, and when the child has been to school, to make sure to give their child the time to talk and listen, and that if issues start to occur, to share the issues with the school."

Prof Carpenter said parents could help ready their children for going back over the summer by letting them socialise more with friends.

“I think because that loss of friendship has been so significant, let’s give our children the opportunity to see their friends as safely as possible.

"Let’s help the children rebuild and restore relationships, so that when they come back to school they will be more receptive.”

Prof Carpenter also said that he welcomed the Government’s decision to suspend OFSTED inspections over the first term of the next academic year, saying that it would allow schools to manage the transition without added pressure.