Plans for all primary school years in England to go back to school before the end of term are to be dropped by the government.
The aim had been for all primary pupils to spend four weeks in school before the summer break, but this is no longer thought to be feasible, and instead schools will be given “flexibility” over whether or not to admit more pupils.
But with some children returning to school, parents must be asking themselves whether their children will be safe while the coronavirus epidemic continues.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the UK government have created a recovery strategy now that the coronavirus has allegedly passed its peak. For primary students, this mean school is back in session.
However, given the fact that residents were told to socially distance and self-quarantine during a majority of the pandemic, families are hesitant to bring their vulnerable children back to school. Reported by the BBC, a study from the National Foundation for Educational Research, based on 1,200 school leaders, suggests:
- 46% of parents will keep children at home
- 50% of parents in schools in disadvantaged areas will keep children at home
- 25% of teachers are likely to be absent because of health issues for themselves or their families
With numbers like these, schools may not be as packed as parents are expecting. Additionally, new protocols will be set in place to reduce the spread of germs—especially since COVID-19 is still around.
Early year to primary school students have been encouraged to go back to school since June 1st. Secondary students and further education can expect to go back starting June 15th—but is it a good idea?
Will my children contract coronavirus?
The UK government claims they have guided schools with scientific advice to reduce the risk of transmission. Scientific research suggests that children of all ages have less severe symptoms than adults if they contract coronavirus (COVID-19).
Additionally, opening schools in waves limits the number of students going back to classes. As a result, this action helps reduce the risk of increasing the rate of transmission. Although there is no definitive answer whether your child will contract COVID-19, the government and schools in the UK are making an effort to flatten the curve while allowing children to come back for classes.
What is being implemented at school to reduce the contraction of COVID-19?
The government has been providing schools with advice on best practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Approaches include:
- ensuring students do not attend if they or a member of their household has symptoms of COVID-19
- promoting regular hand washing and ensuring good respiratory hygiene by promoting the catch it, bin it, kill it approach
- frequent cleaning to rid germs on frequently touched surfaces
- reducing class and/or group sizes to minimise contact with others
- staggered break times or introducing staggered drop-off and collection times
Do my children have to go back to school?
Any student that is eligible to go back to classes is strongly encouraged—unless they are experiencing COVID-19 like symptoms. Children with underlying health conditions should also continue to stay at home.
Parents will not be fined for non-attendance at this time.
Visit www.gov.uk for more information on this topic and information on the COVID-19 situation.