Michael Morpurgo has claimed children will have post-traumatic stress disorder after being away from their school friends during the pandemic.
The former children’s laureate said he feared youngsters who spent a large amount of time learning at home will never get over the trauma.
‘I am worried about the price of Covid for children,’ the 77-year-old writer said.
He blamed a ‘lack of understanding by the Government – that it is all right to stress children out with exams, and that being the be-all and end-all’.
He added: ‘What children need above all are their fellow children.
'That’s what they were missing – companionship, the normality of going into school.
‘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.’
War Horse author Sir Michael Morpurgo (pictured) warns that the 'trauma' of school closures due to the pandemic could stay with pupils forever
Morpurgo, who is best known for his 1982 novel War Horse, said Britain needed to change ‘the way we think about education’, adding: ‘Is it a crammer for universities, or is it about children’s self-worth and their lives?’
He said home-schooling had been an eye opener for many parents.
Morpurgo added: ‘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.’
He said that can be done by ‘trusting teachers more’, adding: ‘They do the most extraordinary job.
‘Schools are as important as our hospitals.
‘Schools are not a production line. They should not be valued only by exam success.
‘But instead of education being a unifier, it is divisive.
‘We classify children according to how successful they are academically.
'That excludes large swathes of the population.’