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‘No chance in hell’ - parents slam prospect of sending children back to school

PUBLISHED: 06:00 15 May 2020 | UPDATED: 11:33 15 May 2020

School children practicing social distancing during lunchtime. Picture: Jane Barlow/PA Wire

School children practicing social distancing during lunchtime. Picture: Jane Barlow/PA Wire

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Parents across Norfolk and Waveney have slammed suggestions children could return to school as soon as the beginning of next month.

The government says some children could return to school as soon as June 1 after lockdown restrictions were eased. Picture: PAThe government says some children could return to school as soon as June 1 after lockdown restrictions were eased. Picture: PA

With the government having unveiled its “road map” to ease the country out of coronavirus lockdown, Boris Johnson said primary schools will reopen “at the earliest” on June 1.

Pupils in reception, year one and year six could soon return with reduced class sizes, while it is hoped all primary school children will spend at least one month in school before the summer holidays.

MORE: Headteachers cast doubt on primary school reopening plans

The government’s 50-page document, published on Monday, adds that secondary school and further education colleges should prepare to begin “some face to face contact” with year 10 and 12 students who have key exams approaching.

But the prospect of schools reopening in a matter of weeks has prompted widespread concern among parents, with many saying they would refuse to send their children back.

Many parents have struggled with home schooling during the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: Getty ImagesMany parents have struggled with home schooling during the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: Getty Images

We asked parents via our social media channels how they feel about their children going to school or nursery and the majority were dismissive of the idea, arguing it was “too soon”.

“It’s absolute lunacy,” said one reader, Tanya Knighton. “Anyone who has ever worked in a school knows how quickly any bug or virus spreads.

“A decent flu season and classes can be down to 50pc or less, accompanied by high staff absence. People will die.”

Jamie Faray, from Norwich, added: “No chance in hell! I will send them once the second wave has hit and passed, so maybe January.”

MORE: Everything you need to know about school reopenings

The government says some children could return to school as soon as June 1 after lockdown restrictions were eased. Picture: Getty ImagesThe government says some children could return to school as soon as June 1 after lockdown restrictions were eased. Picture: Getty Images

Others compared the plans to the ongoing restrictions which prevent people from visiting their family members’ houses.

Dionne Cornish said: “If I can’t have family come into my house for a meal, then I’m not sending my child to school where she will be mixing with other kids and adults in the same room.”

But some were more optimistic about the potential return to normality, including Melanie Duckett, who said: “I’m feeling positive about my five-year-old going back to school.

“He misses his teachers and school friends. He is missing out on his education.”

Meanwhile, Paul Cuff compared children being back in classrooms to a political setting, adding: “If all MPs don’t get back to House of Commons, schools shouldn’t open either.”

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