Poll reveals that half of the parents are not convinced it is safe to send their children back to school
Parents are divided on whether it is safe to send their children back to school, and some fear it may be too early to do so amid the coronavirus pandemic, a new poll shows.
Meanwhile, parent groups have warned that mixed reports from the government and public health authorities have caused widespread concerns about reopening.
The Observer poll found that 43 percent of parents in primary and 54 percent of parents in secondary education were concerned about returning their children to school.
With just a week before some year groups resume, school authorities still determine the practicalities of this.
Primary schools were told to reopen year 1 and year 6 classes and their early years offerings before June 1, although some councils from all parties have said they cannot guarantee that the primaries will open again by that date, according to the BBC.
Friday there were suggestions that the UK’s largest education union, the NEU, may be willing to negotiate a general reopening of schools from 15 June.
The Welsh and Scottish schools will wait longer before opening again.
Pictured: An empty playground at Milton St. John’s Primary School forced to close for a public health England risk assessment after a confirmed case of COVID-19 was reported on May 22
Some people fear that the chaos surrounding school return could widen the gap between affluent and poor areas and families.
John Jolly, director of the Parentkind parent group, told The Observer that parents are asking for security and said there was confusion among parents about government reports.
Some parents want peace of mind in knowing that schools are safe and reopen, he said, while others “ want the assurance that they will keep children out of school until there is a vaccine, which may reflect families with underlying conditions, ” he said. “Then you have other parents who want a clear timeline.”
Jolly added that parents are not convinced by the government’s reports on school safety and that the evidence on which the government bases that claim is not fully communicated.
Teaching unions has also suggested that families of more vulnerable children are more concerned about returning their children to school because of safety concerns.
Former Education Secretary David Laws, who now oversees the Education Policy Institute, said the widening of the gap was a “significant risk,” The Observer said.
National Education Union joint general secretary Mary Bousted told the newspaper that the situation on the ground was now becoming “chaotic and increasingly unsustainable”, saying that uncertainty among schools extends to how to convince parents to return their children and how much staff will be available.
Believing that children are less likely to be affected by the coronavirus, Professor Russell Viner, president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, told BBC Radio 4 that schools should be reopened.
“Covid-19 generally barely affects children and young people, and we even showed that they are about half as susceptible,” he said in the air. “There is no doubt for children themselves, the balance is clearly in favor of going back to school.”
He added that the risks to families of children and the wider community would be manageable with an effective track & trace network and a phased return.
Pictured: Announcements advising staff and students to keep 2 meters away to create an environment safe for coronavirus are displayed on Slaithwaite C from E Junior and Infant School in Slaithwaite, near Huddersfield, May 22
Meanwhile, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has scrapped plans to end the “outdated” long school summer vacation.
According to sources on Mail on Sunday, the minister told friends that strong union opposition had forced him to reject his hopes of using the corona virus crisis as a way to reform school holidays.
The Mail on Sunday understands that Williamson will instead support summer camps for children of all ages that can be used to teach catch-up lessons.
Last week, Williamson said the Department of Education has “done a tremendous amount of work” on initiatives to ensure that people miss nothing as a result of this crisis, and how we can do interventions to support children. ”
“We are looking at different initiatives that we could look at in the summer period,” he added.
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has quietly abandoned plans to end the “outdated” long summer school vacations. Pictured: Williamson is giving the government’s daily press conference on May 16
Union leader Sir Keir Starmer has also urged elementary schools to reopen in England as soon as possible, as he revealed that his own children attended all classes during the closure.
The Labor leader said his 11-year-old son and 9-year-old daughter would still go to state school in North London, as his wife Victoria is a key employee of the NHS.
He said he hoped children across England could return to school next month, but added that “it should be safe.”
However, Starmer said it was important for Prime Minister Boris Johnson and those who oppose the reopening, led by the National Education Union, to reach a consensus on student recall in the classroom.
Students were able to sit A levels in October and GCSEs in November
Students can take A-level exams in October and GCSEs in November if they are not satisfied with their summer results, at the suggestion of the government.
Exact dates were not released due to continuing uncertainty about the full reopening of schools and colleges, exam regulator Ofqual said.
After schools closed in March, the Ministry of Education said that students in England would receive calculated grades based on teacher assessment.
Ofqual has now confirmed that the figures will be standardized taking into account the expected national results for this year’s students, advance student cohorts and previous school or college results.
The fall exams are for students who want to try to improve the grade they get this summer and for those who can’t get a calculated grade.
A decision on when the exams will take place will be informed by advice from the government, examining boards, and groups representing schools, colleges, teachers, and students, Ofqual added.
Proposals published on Friday said: “Given the current uncertainty about when schools and colleges will reopen, we don’t discuss the exact dates on which the exams should take place.
“But to ensure that the exams work as well as possible, we anticipate that AS and A exams will take place in October and GCSE exams in November.”