War Horse author Michael Morpurgo warns Covid trauma won’t leave children

Former UK children’s laureate is fearful the pandemic has deprived young of vital socialisation

Morpurgo is best known for his powerful First World War tale ‘War Horse’.
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War Horse author Sir Michael Morpurgo said he feared children could experience years of trauma as a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic.

He accused the UK government of failing to grasp the extent of the problem, nor how badly school closures during lockdowns had affected pupils.

“What children need, above all, are their fellow children. That’s what they were missing – companionship, the normality of going into school,” Morpurgo, 77, told Radio Times.

“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.”

The former children’s laureate urged society to reappraise the whole purpose of education.

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

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.”



Updated: July 27, 2021, 12:06 PM
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