We owe it to children to open schools says Education Secretary

We owe it to children to open schools says Education Secretary

We owe it to children to open schools, says Education Secretary

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has said that “we owe it to the children” to reopen schools and get pupils back into classes.

Mr Williamson has acknowledged parent’s anxieties, and reassured them that it would be safe, but stressed that a “cautious, phased return” would be necessary.

The statement follows an ongoing argument over the Government’s plan to reopen schools to pupils in reception classes, and years 1 and 6 from June 1st.

It has, however, been confirmed that at this time, there will be no fines for parents who choose not to send their children back to school.

Teachers unions have largely agreed that the decision has been made far too soon to be safe.

One primary school teacher said:

“It’s heartbreaking that our government deems it safe for schools to reopen, starting with our littlest, most vulnerable people. 

“How is it okay for young children to go back to school with several other children but they cannot see their own family?

“Where are the considerations for our children’s mental wellbeing?

“How are we going to manage teaching reception across a school? Is the government even aware that reception classrooms are designed entirely differently to other classrooms?

“Many children and parents will be anxious, worried and will feel unsafe returning to school. Teachers are anxious, worried and feel unsafe returning to school.”

Speaking at the government’s daily briefing on Saturday, Mr Williamson said:

“There are some who would like to delay the wider opening of schools but there is a consequence to this.

“The longer that schools are closed the more children miss out. Teachers know this. Teachers know that there are children out there that have not spoken or played with another child of their own age for two months.

“They know there are children from difficult or very unhappy homes for whom school is the happiest moment in their week and it’s also the safest place for them to be.”

England is the only UK nation to set a date for schools to start to reopen, and the only one to begin to ease lockdown restrictions.

Yet, a recent poll suggests that 79% of parents in England have no intention of sending their children back to school on June 1st.

What is your view? Would you send your child back to school as early as June 1st?

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