Thousands Of Primary Pupils Face Closed Schools

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Thousands Of Primary Pupils Face Closed Schools

Thousands of pupils have not started primary school as expected – with local closures in several parts of England.

Head teachers warned of a “confusing picture” with some schools staying shut after teachers’ union safety warnings about the risk of Covid infections.

A joint letter from education unions called for a “pause” in reopening schools, accusing the government of “creating chaos”.

The Department for Education said closing should only be a “last resort”.

Adding to the uncertainty, some local authorities have argued against reopening and some individual primary schools have remained closed for most pupils – in addition to those schools already required to stay shut because of high coronavirus levels.

There are so far no official national figures for how many schools have not have fully opened, apart from for vulnerable and key workers’ children – but local reports include:

  • more than 130 schools in Norfolk, many citing staff shortages
  • more than 40 in Durham
  • 21 in North Tyneside
  • 26 in Newcastle
  • 10 in Reading
  • nine in Northumberland
  • five in Oldham

Safety fears

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said school was the “right place” for children, wherever possible.

“When it comes to schools, we’ve taken the decision not to reopen schools in some of the most affected areas.

“But these are difficult balances – and people will have very mixed emotions,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

https://www.bbc.com

Vicky Smith from Hertfordshire faces an anxious personal dilemma about sending her daughter back to primary school – as she is worried about the risk of infection to her seriously ill father, who also lives with them.

“I want to send my kids to school because all her friends are there, but what if she brings it home?,” she says.

Thousands Of Primary Pupils Face Closed Schools

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