Working Paper: Covid-19 Mitigation Measures Among Children and Young People

Summary of Scottish evidence on the COVID-19 mitigation measures aimed at children and young people

6. Wellbeing Impacts

6.1 Young people

There is limited data on wellbeing impacts to date. As noted above, the Lockdown Lowdown focus groups found that most participants agreed with social distancing, face coverings and appreciated the safety measures taken by educational establishments.

With regards to physical distancing, disabled participants that were hard of hearing or partially sighted found that the 2 metre requirement made it hard for them to hear/see others:

"Social distancing, but that's got one barrier for me, it comes back to the hearing thing I have to tell my new teachers when you're speaking to me please don't stand more than 2m away. If social distancing increases to 3m then I wouldn't be able to tell what they are saying."

"Having a sensory impairment keeping 2m, is a massive challenge for blind and partially sighted people. […] It's been the biggest challenge for me. Although now, sighted people are allowed to guide blind and partially sighted people, this has made us more relaxed as a community. I am trying to be as independent as possible but it's good that I know have the chance to get a guide when I'm walking about if I choose."

However, a participant with autism found the increased personal space beneficial. A question was raised by one participant about their sports team not being allowed to play, and felt that this negatively impacted their mental health in a way that outweighed Covid-19 safety concerns.

There were no concerns raised about face coverings other than the lack of compliance and enforcement discussed in section 4.1 above. One disabled participant had experience of a FE teacher using see through face coverings, and found this a positive experience.

Questions asking whether young people agree or disagree with the following statements will be included in the representative Young People in Scotland Survey of secondary school pupils running in January 2021 (5 point strongly agree – strongly disagree):

  • Wearing face coverings makes me feel anxious
  • It's harder to connect with other people when one or both of us is wearing a face covering.
  • Other people have made me feel uncomfortable for wearing a face covering
  • I find it difficult to understand teachers when they are wearing a face covering
  • I find it more difficult to follow lessons when teachers are wearing face coverings

The survey will also include two agree/disagree statements around the rules for meeting others (5 point strongly agree – strongly disagree):

  • The rules around meeting others are having a negative impact on my relationships with my friends and family
  • The rules around meeting others are having a negative impact on my mental health

6.2 Parents

Public Health Scotland are currently running the CEYRIS wave 2 survey of parents of children aged 2-7. The survey is live between the early and mid-December and reporting will be in early 2021. This contains the following questions on face coverings (5 point strongly agree – strongly disagree):

  • My child is happy to wear a face covering
  • My child seems unfazed by others wearing face coverings
  • My child gets upset at seeing others wearing face coverings
  • My child finds it difficult to understand people speaking if they are wearing a face covering

Children and Families Analysis

Learning Analysis

18 December 2020



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