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How Will Covid-19 Impact Your 2020-21 Ski Vacation?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
ecureuil wrote:
NickyJ wrote:
...We are stuck with school holidays presuming our children are allowed to return to school in the next calendar year of course. ...

And even if they do return, a further uncertainty is whether school holidays will still be on the current anticipated schedule. If full schooling doesn't restart until say early-October, not impossible that traditional autumn and spring half-terms will be scrapped.


We are doing (trying to do) Christmas week
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Just take the kids out of school if the school scrapes half term, lets face it this home schooling is a political stunt, mine are getting no more than 2 hours per day & no online classes, even the teachers union is adviseing against on line classes.
if the professionals are relaxed about lack of teaching then so am I, they are learning other life skills, they are learning how to handle mental hardship, loneliness & how to take others in to consideration.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I'd be amazed if the schools scrap any holidays - the teachers want them as much as the kids, and the staff contracts would make it very hard.

My kids are amongst the lucky ones - they are working harder than ever; their schools are running full schedules over Zoom - both my two massively prefer home schooling and think it's much more productive. I can see a clear market opportunity for a pure-online school post COVID, enabling kids all around the world to participate in tuition whilst e.g. also skiing in the afternoon. Maybe with a few weeks of residential physical school to cover off science experiments, food tech, art, design tech etc.

Edited to add - from a purely personal perspective, it's possible that a long-term positive impact of COVID (maybe more for 2021-22) is that the shift to remote working makes it very easy for me to spend much longer periods in the Alps during ski season. The constraint will be a) schooling, and b) whether flights are operating for my wife to travel to and fro.
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@snowdave, is that an independent or state school?
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@NickyJ, independent. They are doing a fantastic job, I've been really impressed. In addition to learning all the normal stuff, they are learning how to manage VCs, virtual breakout groups etc. My kids are both much more professional on Zoom than I am now.

What's disappointing to me is the failure of the education system more broadly to absorb best practice - the range of attitudes and techniques is hugely variable even in the independent sector, let alone the state arena. Some schools seem to email out a bit of work and leave it at that, others are making full use of technology. My son's school even uses Strava for PE.

My understanding is that Zoom provides its services to schools for free at present, and for a less than a day's cost of furlough, the Government could fund a cheap tablet for every child in the UK, to try and level the playing field a bit.
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@snowdave, I was suspecting hence the question. I know the independent my daughter used to go to is doing the same and a teacher friend who also teaches in independent sector.

With what we are seeing from my children’s current schools is really put to shame Sad.

Still at least my youngest is being sort of invited back from 1st June (the senco has sent the invite) and my eldest is now getting a once a week phone call as I flagged concerns over her mental health. So I guess I should be grateful but I can’t help feeling exceedingly angry.
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@NickyJ, not exactly true, I pay circa £27K PA for my 2 at independent & as above, no more then 2 hours work set for each day & no interaction with any staff. There is zero timetable.
Frankly the school has been appalling during the situation & even thou they have furloughed non teaching staff there has been zero reduction in fees.
So don't go thinking all independent schools are supplying the best service.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@NickyJ, totally sympathise. Some people, companies and industries have gone all out to figure out how to deal with the new world, and some have just said "blergh" and given up.

What frustrates me with some of the education sector is that all too often it seems to be driven by the lowest-common-denominator i.e. "some kids don't have the right environment/ attitude/ equipment/ home setting for remote learning, so we shouldn't do it".

I can highly recommend (particularly if you want more social/emotional interactions for your kids) letting them Zoom with friends while also doing something else- e.g. my daughter does Joe Wicks PE each morning, but has friends to chat to on Zoom at the same time.

Tying it back to skiing- fundamentally, it's an industry where a lot of people and companies who's entire livelihood depends on skiing, whether they are instructors, restaurant operators or ski lift companies. Travel legislation-permitting, they will find a way to deliver some element of skiing. They can't afford to say "blergh" and give up Happy
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@Jonny996, just overlapped with you! That's a pretty raw deal, tho' sadly not unique - I've heard of similar from one of our other local independents.

In addition to what my kids schools are doing academically, they've both (separately) gone with a 15% fee reduction, reflecting the cost reduction from furloughing staff, cancelling catering, not having to heat buildings etc.

Equally, I'd expect some state schools are doing a great job, while some independents like yours haven't raised their game appropriately. Feel free if you want to pm me if you want full details of what our kids schools are doing if you want to see what I think is "best in class".
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I wouldn't bank on cheap deals - capacity will go down as fewer chalets, fewer flight seats. Driving is definitely the way to go. Who knows how resorts will apply social distancing, but it will almost certainly be in place at the start of the season
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowdave wrote:

What frustrates me with some of the education sector is that all too often it seems to be driven by the lowest-common-denominator i.e. "some kids don't have the right environment/ attitude/ equipment/ home setting for remote learning, so we shouldn't do it".


Education rests on being valued for its own ends, and the belief that education itself is beneficial and worthwhile. All too often sections of society generationally have not valued, nor believed in the benefit of education. The "disadvantaged" have had decades of new initiatives thrust at them, and to very little benefit. "Education, education, education!" Political soundbites won't change society, only to the point that education reflects society. There's many a teenager from impoverished backgrounds with iPhones and Sky Sports, but little interest in education. An "Education Sector" driven by the lowest common denominator is a product of decades of comprehensive schooling, SAT's testing, and school senior leadership teams, in the main, consisting of sychophantic wannabees short on talent and experience with very little insight into anything other than their own self importance. Ofsted has perpetualized the ridiculous league tables for schools that drive and sustain the resultant inequalities in education (being the reflection of inequalities in society). In so far that the lowest common denominators in education have rendered "education" a complete misnomer. Currently education is not "education", it's just a soundbite panacea for all that's wrong in education (and in society). Academy schools don't change this misnomer. As for teachers? ….. Poor things. All children should expect better of "education", and schools should deliver a much better "education for all". So I'm not surprised when tested, many schools fail to step up.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@skimastaaah, sorry you have had some bad experiences with school leaders, those I have encountered have been incredibly dedicated and hardworking - and it is certainly not a glamorous job.

But they are asked to do impossible jobs - rather like the NHS it is the funding that falls to the "lowest common denominator". In contrast to health*, there is a healthy market among private school providers and simply scrolling up this page to @Jonny996's post will highlight the discrepancy between what the market determines appropriate for the service provided and the £5000/student received per state secondary student in our region.

[*I am unaware of any private medical insurance in the UK which covers anywhere near the range of the NHS].
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@j b, I've not had "bad experiences" with many SLT, I've had real and first hand dealings with many senior leaders hell bent on pursuing their own (selfish) agendas in the face of valid, critical and uncomfortable opposition. Much of this to do with the way Academy Trust groups' Tupe-ing staff, downgrade job-descriptions/pay, and wielding competency/disciplinary procedures as a mechanism to move on non-conforming but talented chalk-face staff.

"Around one in five teachers (18%) expect to leave the classroom in less than two years while two-fifths of teachers, school leaders and support staff want to quit in the next five years – blaming “out of control” workload pressures and “excessive” accountability, according to a poll by the country’s biggest teaching union."

https://www.theguardian.com/education/2019/apr/16/fifth-of-teachers-plan-to-leave-profession-within-two-years

Silly as it sounds next season may just become increasingly open to parents opting to ski mid-school-term rather than the nominal 5 weeks currently available for mainstream school students.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Quote:

next season may just become increasingly open to parents opting to ski mid-school-term rather than the nominal 5 weeks currently available for mainstream school students.

indeed - for so long as sending kids to school is "voluntary", that will be the case.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@pam w, I honestly think that there will be a paradigm shift in just how families place value in their lives. Any skiing holiday is a massive experiential learning platform for people of all ages, never mind just youngsters. And the likes of that very nice Mr Gove need to recognise that "education" cannot be the be all and end all to boost a politician's agenda. After all 17.4 million highly intelligent UK voters voted for the Brexit deal he laid before them. In retrospect something akin to the Emperor's New Clothes, and the June 1st return for primary schools. Somewhat lacking under close scrutiny.

Sending kids to school is rather like taking a horse to water.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Thanks for the explanation @skimastaaah, I have to say I am grateful my daughter's former school (of which I am still a governor, though by email at the moment) missed all that nonsense and is still with the local authority.

It is a long slow process making a school work well, Academy quick-fixes don't work. Our school has slowly rebuilt after a low point 8 years ago to where I am reasonably happy though there is still room to get better. A lot of that was building a sense of trust and ownership by teachers - with the result we no longer suffer from "churn".

But back to the topic ... while the school has been open throughout for a handful of students, many fewer than were theoretically eligible, it along with other local schools is not proposing to re-open on 1st June. I will no doubt be hearing from the headteacher this week of their plans to find a safe way eventually of working with years 10 and 12, and maybe others thereafter.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Sounds like lazy Brit teachers don't wanna go back to work until after summer wink
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Whitegold wrote:
Sounds like lazy Brit teachers don't wanna go back to work until after summer wink


Not while they are furloughed by the Local Authority who only have to pay 20% of Teachers' salaries, while the Tax Payer tops up 80%. What's not to like?
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We just don’t know what to do about skiing. We’re booked to go to Canada at Christmas with crystal and will have to make the decision by end of September as to whether we want to go or not. The last two times we’ve come back from skiing we’ve both had really bad respiratory problems. Really bad. It was the same resort so we don’t know whether there is just something about the conditions there maybe. We suspect though that it’s more to do with flying/airports, particularly as the only other time I’ve had respiratory problems was a after flying to New Zealand. Seems a coincidence, given that I don’t so much as have a cold at home. So the question is, even if things are back to normal, do we want to sit on a plane in a mask and gloves for 9 hours each way whilst trying to dodge the bullet of a potential respiratory infection?

Ref schools, our lad is year 11 so everyone has given up on him school-wise as he hasn’t had to sit gcse’s, so he’s in a weird limbo waiting to start again in September (hopefully). The school (a grammar) has continued to set a lot of online work but latterly It was aimed at boys returning to sixth form to do A levels. He, however, is going to college to do a diploma so just couldn’t see the point in continuing where he had no interest. We just have to hope his teachers are able to look past the fact that he p@@@@d most of them off for years and give him the grades he deserves Smile
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@bambionskiis, could it be long haul flights?
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Not that simple jonny I’m afraid as the last 2 were only to Turin.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@bambionskiis, in the new world, if you show any symptoms of respiratory problems, you and about 20 people around you on the plane get quarantined. Then you can’t fly home, because you’ve shown respiratory problems in the preceding 14 days. Nor are you likely to be insured for this because it sounds like a preexisting condition.

This is the thing that really puts me off flying - a few coughs or a high temperature at the airport (or even actually getting covid) and you’re stuck in quarantine for 14 days in a foreign country.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Interesting interview with Simon Calder on Radio 5 earlier. He reckons the chances of needing to quarantine after returning from EU countries will be pretty much zero from around July onwards. A combination of pressure from those countries wanting UK tourists and political pressure from within the UK to drop it. And he does tend to know what he is talking about when it comes to travel.
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@snowhound, applying quarantine regulations now (actually not for another fortnight) seems crazy. They would have made more sense in place for the last 2 months. The only rational reasons I can think of are:

to have equal negotiating strength with other countries currently with quarantine rules when it comes to mutual recognition. i.e. if New Zealanders want to come here they will have to accept Brits there on the same basis. And for Spain, Greece etc if they want our tourists.

to then to be able to still insist on quarantine for certain countries without creating a diplomatic stink. e.g. Russia, Brazil, and indeed much of South America
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Quote:
applying quarantine regulations now (actually not for another fortnight) seems crazy. They would have made more sense in place for the last 2 months. The only rational reasons I can think of are...

Rather like the care homes position, the words stable door and horse come readily to mind... Confused
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If you are not concerned about being infected and then passing on the infection then all you have to say is that you are following the "instincts" of any skier to exempt yourself from any suggestion that you are breaking quarantine.

Seems to work for the scum at the top.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
How do I get my money back from club med they don't answer PHONES or reply yo email

mr.owide@btopenworld.com
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@Howard owide, Dunno, but expect a lot of spam from posting your email on a public forum Smile
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Quick question regarding Annual holiday Insurance.

I booked in Feb'20, under a policy that covers me until 2 days after I plan to travel, so I am covered as far as cancellation due to Covid 19. A renewal will cover the remainder of the holiday, but most likely with exclusions.

My annual policy covers me until Jan'21, but many people will have to renew before then.

If you book under a policy, then renew before you travel, but have to cancel. Which policy would you claim under?

Might make a big difference for cover in the event of any virus forcing a resort to close, or Govt to recommend no travel.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
snowhound wrote:
Interesting interview with Simon Calder on Radio 5 earlier. He reckons the chances of needing to quarantine after returning from EU countries will be pretty much zero from around July onwards. A combination of pressure from those countries wanting UK tourists and political pressure from within the UK to drop it. And he does tend to know what he is talking about when it comes to travel.


You are more likely to catch Covid-19 in the UK than you are going to the continent. The Quarantine is a complete joke (my thoughts here). I can only hope, for the sake of the travel industry, that this unenforceable policy is dropped after the first 3-week period.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@skimastaaah, state teacher salaries are 100% paid by the Gvt; there is no furloughing of teachers as they have not stopped working including during Easter and bank holidays. I hear all about it all day everyday from my teaching family..,,
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Snowsartre, On full salary, and most of them have done bu*ger all for the duration of the lockdown. Far too many kids have had no work set for them to do at home.

The teaching Unions even recommended their members didn't set any for Christs sake. Now they are bleating about a "lost generation".

Head teachers, encouraged by the Govt. should have insisted that work was set for those who were off, or deducted wages. I accept that a great number of families don't have full internet facilities or home computers. However, there was nothing stopping then preparing and issuing written packs. It they claimed lack of resources, I am sure a local appeal would have found sponsors for the cost of paper/printing, and a whole army of volunteers to deliver them (If the Parent's were too idle to collect).

If they had gone back on 1st June, they would have been away 10 weeks, 3 of which would have been school holidays anyway! Max 7 weeks lost. This should not be permanently detrimental in an education lasting 12 years or more, otherwise every kid who was genuinely off sick for a couple of months would be "lost forever". Many of those with life threatening/changing illnesses miss months, and still keep up.

Why not open the schools for what would have been the summer holidays to catch up, or start the Autumn term a month early?

Some teachers refuse to open schools on "safety issues". If there was a serious issue with children passing on the virus, then those of the key workers (most likely to get infected) attending school would have passed it on, and we would have seen large numbers of teaching staff infected over the last 12 weeks. I have not seen any evidence of this.

There was an instance in a school not far from me, where, on the day they were supposed to open, 5 members of staff went home with symptoms, and the rest had to isolate. (Very convenient timing!!)
The school had been closed. They were supposed to be in lockdown, or following strict procedures if at work. With an incubation period of 10-14 days, how had they managed to do this unless they had been in contact and not followed appropriate rules? Are these people fit to supervise kids in the current environment?

I see no reason why the vast majority should not return. (accepting exemptions for those with siblings/family in the "at risk" groups, for whom appropriate arrangements can be made).
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@brianatab, touch a nerve?
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@Snowsartre, Not really a nerve Very Happy Very Happy

I can't think of any other sector where full pay, plus pension contributions, is being given without the expectation of some work in return. If they were management of a business, they would be labeled as leeches.

No doubt they will be amongst the most vocal when the time comes to start repaying the debt caused by this crisis.

It just annoys me when I constantly hear people complaining about lack of resources but make no extra effort with, or use what they have available. Mad

Don't forget, people on reduced wages or furloughed are not making the usual provision for their pensions and are still paying taxes to keep these people on full pay. They are entitled to expect some effort to keep educating their children, especially at the most difficult times.

*****Full credit to those teaching staff who have made the extra effort for their pupils.*****

Hopefully the extra, or lack of effort will be reflected in salary reviews, but I doubt it. Sad


I stopped working 3 years ago to become full time carer to my Parents. I have been unable to contribute to my own Pension for this time, nor will be for the forseable future, taking a (voluntary) financial hit. I have gained nothing from the Government subsidies, but will still be expected to contribute to the cost at some later date. I will do this without complaint, as I have done with every financial crisis since Jim Callaghan was Prime Minister.

Yet, in the meantime, my Father still pays tax on his pension to subsidise these lazy whingers?

I therefore feel I have a right, on behalf of myself, and of those less able, to comment on people who I feel are taking advantage of any given situation. Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
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brianatab wrote:
@Snowsartre, On full salary, and most of them have done bu*ger all for the duration of the lockdown.
You have any evidence for that statement?
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@brianatab, pleased to see that you recognise that you tarred all teachers with same brush:

*****Full credit to those teaching staff who have made the extra effort for their pupils.*****

My own kids’ schools have been legends setting quality online work, providing individual feedback and calling regularly to check on well-being. The secondary school was planning to extend provision from 3 June but prevented from so doing by Gvt as the scientists would not countenance it.

To declare an interest, my wife is a teacher and we have had the option to send our kids in every day since lockdown including the Easter holiday, half term holiday and the bank holidays. We didn’t as one is shielding.

The biggest teaching union is more interested in political capital than children’s education.

I would support the condemnation of those teachers - if there are any - who have not set any work etc but I think they will be very few in number.

Teachers are working for their salary. Furloughed workers are not allowed to work for 80% of their salary (up to £2.5k admittedly) so it is disingenuous to say teachers are doing nothing for their salary.

I would opine that the way the UK has (mis)handled COVID-19 is the real issue here. And I would advocate a return to what matters - ski rated banter....

I have booked for next season (and am about to post seeking views on Sölden versus Obertauern versus Silvretta Montafon) looking forward to winter as missed a trip at Easter but did manage a cheeky weekend at beginning of March.
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@rob@rar, Most schools closed, except for a few key worker families. Do they need 100% of staff for 10% of pupils?

Social distancing rules say there is not room for them all to be working.

Plenty of comments on different threads here regarding Schools that have, or haven't set work to be done at home. (Some praise for the attempts of State school, and surprise at lack of effort by Academies and Private Schools.)

No lessons to plan, no classwork to set or mark, no homework to be marked. What work have most of them been doing? Puzzled Puzzled

Apart from re-designing facilities to allow social distancing when the school reopens, which requires minimum staff to do, and only when preparing to reopen, no reason for most of them to get out of bed for the last 12 weeks.

One of the reasons schools closed was the sheer number of teachers who had found a reason to self isolate at the very start.
I saw a report on TV news where nearly 50 out of 120 teachers in 1 school were unavailable for that reason. Why were 40 % of teachers affected when it was a fraction of this in the general population?

The Head closed the School a week before the lockdown as the shortage of staff meant she could not comply with Health and Safety regulations.

If the risks are as claimed, we would have expected a large number of working teachers to succumb to the virus, but no such reports on National News. Risk to non working teachers same as anybody else at home.

Anybody got any statistics on the number of teachers affected?
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@Snowsartre, Your points noted. You posted whilst I was typing, so I didn't see it until afterwards.
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@brianatab, no worries, a quick google search shows at least half a dozen headteachers have died due to COVID.
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https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/schoolsweek.co.uk/ons-figures-reveal-65-covid-related-deaths-in-education/amp/

Compares with 98 deaths of carers data drawn from same date
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