Survey shows more than 80pc of parents will not send children back to school

Steffan Aquarone, Liberal Democrat group leader at Norfolk County Council. Picture: Alex Broadway

Steffan Aquarone, Liberal Democrat group leader at Norfolk County Council. Picture: Alex Broadway - Credit: Alex Broadway

More than 80pc of parents who took part in a survey over schools reopening said they would not be sending their children back next week.

The survey, of more than 70 parents, was carried out by the opposition Liberal Democrat group at Norfolk County Council ahead of the planned return to school of some pupils from next Monday.

The government wants schools to take in children from reception, year one and year six from June 1, with the aim for all primary school pupils to go back for a month of teaching before the summer break.

But a survey of close to 1,000 parents, teachers, pupils and others by this newspaper revealed 61pc felt the start of the new school academic year would be the safest time for children to return.

That survey found that 79pc believed youngsters should not return to the classroom in June - a figure closely mirrored in the Lib Dem’s survey.

In that survey, 82pc said they would not send their children back for June 1.

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Just over 40pc said one way systems for pick up and collection would make them feel more confident, but less than one in five said they would be confident with classrooms set out with two metres between pupils.

Steffan Aquarone, leader of the Liberal Democrat group, said: “Our survey backs up the findings of the EDP survey in that it found a high level of concern from parents or guardians about the safety of their children with only 18% happy to send their children back to school on June 1.

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“We want to help to get all children back to school as soon as it’s safe to do so with their parents or guardians feeling confident about it.

“We did find that hand washing and one-way systems for drop off and collection were the most reassuring measures for parents and we will be supporting the work being done by county council officers to help staff in both local authority and academy schools in getting all necessary measures in place.

“It is very regrettable the government has sought to force this decision without it being properly thought thorough.”

The county council has said it is working with schools on risk assessments but recognised it would be “demanding” for schools to open to more children, with head teachers best placed to decide when to reopen.

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