Eight in ten parents not sending kids back to school today, union poll claims


MORE than 80 per cent of parents aren’t sending their kids back to school today, one union has claimed.

GMB said that nearly eight in ten of a large survey sent out to their members last week showed 1,300 said they weren’t sending children back today.

A mum gives her little one a kiss outside Queen’s Hill Primary School, Costessey, Norfolk

Kids in reception, year one and six are back in classrooms today – with their classes capped at 15.

But last week independent scientists warned its too soon to go back – and urged the Government to delay returning for another fortnight.

And some Government scientists have said it’s too soon to lift the lockdown measures just yet, while the number of cases remains high.

Boris Johnson has admitted not everyone will be able to come back to the classroom today, and they aren’t expected to be.

The news came as:

  • Children could be returning to some classes in the form of summer camps over the holidays to help them catch up
  • Parents won’t be fined for now for not sending their kids in – but that could change come September, the Children’s Commissioner warned
  • Up to a million kids could be kept off school today as parents choose to keep them home
  • Experts predicted that poorer kids were more likely to stay off school than middle classes.

Karen Leonard, GMB National Officer, said today: “The Government needs to show us the evidence – the public have wised up and demand open and honest transparency.

“School staff, parents, councils and top scientists all agree – opening schools more widely today is a risk too great. .

“We still have thousands of new infections every day in the UK, and the track and trace system is nowhere near ready.

“We all want life to get back to normal as quickly as possible – but it’s not worth putting children and staff at greater risk for the Government to try and get some easy headlines.

“Ministers must immediately publish data on how many pupils and staff have been tested, how PPE is made available, who is funding it and the R rates where schools have opened more widely.”

And another study on early years education said that  just over 40 per cent of parents of under-fives say they will send their children back to nursery, preschool or childminders this week.

The poll of more than 6300 care providers was done by the Early Years Alliance.

Parents drop off children at Queen’s Hill Primary School, Costessey, Norfolk

And a new report from the National Foundation for Educational Research found today that leaders from schools with more kids on free school meals were more likely to see them stay at home.

It means that those who most need to catch up on schooling will be least likely to go back in.

Meanwhile, three quarters of parents have not been able to get the childcare they need to head back to work, another major new poll reveals.

A survey of 12,000 Brits also found 81 per cent are thinking of delaying returning to their jobs full time as they cannot find anyone to look after their children.

Many mums and dads have resorted to taking holiday so they can stay home to take care of their offspring in the lockdown.

But many are running out of holiday, and 80 per cent of those facing problems say their bosses will not let them extend their leave.

Parliament’s Petitions Committee, which carried out the survey, warned that Britain is facing a childcare crisis.