NINE out of ten parents back the full reopening of schools next month — a dramatic change of heart from earlier polls.
The big turnaround comes as ministers extend a pilot scheme so thousands more teachers and pupils can be spot-tested for Covid.
The Office for National Statistics found 88 per cent of parents were “very” or “fairly likely” to return their child to class.
Though 56 per cent are still worried about their kids catching the virus.
A May poll by Parentkind found just ten per cent would send a child back after lockdown.
And a University of Oxford study in June said half were uncomfortable about a return.
The extended checks will be a combination of swab tests to see how many people currently have the virus, plus antibody tests to find how many children have recovered from Covid.
The first phase, from June, saw 200 people randomly tested at each of 100 schools.
Experts used the data to work out the virus’s spread in the summer term.
The extended phase two will be rolled out in weeks.
New 90-minute tests announced by Health Secretary Matt Hancock earlier this week will also help — although they will not be ready by the time gates open in September.
Government efforts to get all schools reopened next month were undermined as ministers publicly contradicted each other.
Business Secretary Alok Sharma said school closures would be considered on a “case by case” basis, telling ITV News: “The approach is very much on looking at this on a localised level.”
Earlier Schools Minister Nick Gibb told the BBC schools would remain open even in locked-down areas.