Schools open but anxious parents keep kids at home

Daniel Fowler
June 4, 2020

The majority of Herts schools reopened for more pupils this morning.

"But if trusted experts in the field are being ignored when they say it's not the right time yet to ease lockdown, I have no option but to trust that view and not a Government who claim to be "following the science" when it's evident they are not".

"We were perfectly happy with the arrangements that the Head and teachers were putting into place but then Lancashire CC decided late last Wednesday evening to "advise" schools not to reopen today".

From June 1 primary schools were allowed to open doors to reception, year one and year six pupils for the first time since March as part of Prime Minister Boris Johnson's next step of easing the coronavirus lockdown.

Secondary schools, sixth form, and further education colleges have been asked to begin some face-to-face support with Year 10 and 12 pupils, although it is not expected that these pupils will return on a full-time basis at this stage.

"I've had comments, you know, 'You're going to be damaging your children, ' or, 'You're just not very intelligent and a awful mother.' That kind of thing is said, but I largely just ignore it", she says.

The school has been open to children of key workers throughout the coronavirus lockdown, with plans to reopen to nursery children next week and to children in years one and six from June 15.

"In some cases, 90 per cent of the children in specific years have gone back to school, in other cases around half of the year group is attending, alongside the children of key workers and vulnerable children in other year groups".

"So children will work in small groups, they will stay in those groups every single day, work in those groups with the same adult".

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There were no COVID-19 patients being treated in northern B.C. hospitals, Health Minister Adrian Dix announced on Tuesday. She is expected to release new details later this week about modelling that evaluates B.C.'s response to the pandemic.

Reception pupil Braydon washes his hands whilst watching an electronic timer at Queen's Hill Primary School, Costessey.

Some have complained that the return of schools has been hastened to allow parents to return to work more quickly. "Of course, all our schools are different shapes and sizes, so they all have slightly different challenges".

Patrick Roach, the general secretary of the NASUWT teaching union, said in a statement, "No teacher should be expected to be in a workplace that is unsafe".

A survey by the National Foundation for Educational Research of more than 1,200 school leaders found headteachers were expecting 46% of families to keep pupils at home.

Kieron Smith, from Blyth in Northumberland, who has a son in Reception, told PA he will not be sending his child back to school until he has more confidence in the Government's approach.

He added: "We have a weekend of eminent scientists warning it might be slightly too early and inevitably that is going to unnerve both people who work in schools but also parents".

Large numbers of anxious parents are thought to have kept their kids at home amid widespread distrust over the government's claim it is safe for some pupils to return. But listen to your headteacher and your school.

Children's commissioner Anne Longfield has called for pupils to be offered summer schools to help them catch up on their education.

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