Four in 10 Norfolk parents still have back to school worries, EDP survey finds
PUBLISHED: 06:10 02 September 2020 | UPDATED: 08:56 02 September 2020
Almost half of parents remained concerned about sending children back to school for the start of the new term, an EDP survey has found.
Some 44pc of parents said they were either ‘very’ or ‘quite’ worried about youngsters heading back to the classroom, many not having not been back since coronavirus lockdown restrictions were imposed in March.
While the children of key workers were still taught in the classroom, thousands of other children were at home, with schools setting on-line learning.
MORE: From no assemblies to classroom lunches - how one school will look in September
While some children are returning this week across the UK, schools in Norfolk will welcome back pupils from September 7.
However an EDP survey of parents found there is still widespread apprehension over youngsters being back even though most supported the return to lessons.
Preparations are underway for Norfolk’s 422 schools to welcome back thousands of children with extra measures put in place including year group bubbles, one-way systems, staggered start times and extra cleaning.
More than half (56pc) of the 665 parents who took part in the poll said they felt schools had done the best they could to implement Department for Education guidelines. Just under half (48pc) felt they had been kept well informed by their child’s school.
One parent said: “I am relying on so many others to keep my children safe which after being the only one responsible for this since March is hard to adjust to.
“We all just need to do our part and follow guidelines regardless of our own personal opinions. Children will feed off the parents’ gossip and they need to be hearing that we are supportive and encouraging of the changes. I believe the schools will act fast and accordingly if there are any issues.”
Asked what their biggest concern had been during the school closures, more than half (51pc) said the impact on their education, 41pc said their child’s mental wellbeing, while 31pc said the risk of catching Covid-19.
When it came to concerns of their children themselves about being back in school, 57pc said they were looking forward to it, 32pc were anxious and 17pc were ‘dreading it’.
MORE: ‘Back to school’ campaign launched to encourage children into classroom
Despite it being mandatory for all pupils to be in school from the start of term, some parents said they planned to keep their child off.
One said: “I’m not sending my child to school because it is not safe.
“The government’s reasoning for sending children back has always been that they don’t spread the virus like adults do. In their new guidelines for schools, they’ve now changed that to ‘there is no evidence that children spread the virus any more than adults’. It’s an absolute farce.”
Norfolk County Council has launched a ‘back to school’ campaign offering parents support and advice.
John Fisher, cabinet member for children’s services, said: “I would really urge parents to make sure their children get back to school so that they can benefit from the professional teaching and support that their schools offer.”
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