Unlikely that parents will get fined for keeping kids at home but young must go back first, Ofsted chief says


Amanda Speilman said that there will still be some children who will likely be schooled at home if they have family members who are vulnerable.

Amanda Speiling said parents were unlikely to be fined for keeping kids home
The Government is working towards how to best exit lockdown and reopen schools

Kids are being home-schooled during the lockdown as part of moves to stop the spread of the virus.

Last week Matt Hancock refused to comment on whether those who decide not to send their children in may face fines.

But the head of Ofsted, told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge show that it was “extraordinarily unlikely” ministers would push fines.

She added: “Given that there will be substantial numbers of children in households where somebody is at high risk, I think it is extraordinarily unlikely that anybody would start at the stick end of the spectrum rather than the carrot.

“I am fairly sure we will be running a mixed economy of schooling for a while yet with some children attending and some children learning as best, they can remotely.”

Meanwhile, she stressed that there was a huge case for getting kids back to school as soon as possible.

“It’s very clear that their interests are best served in the vast majority of cases by being back at school as soon as possible,” she said.

“If we look at children, it is in their interests.”

And the longer kids are away, the harder it becomes to make sure they don’t fall behind later on.

HOAR revealed last week ministers want to get kids back before the end of the summer term.

Earlier Welsh First Minister Make Drakeford confirmed that they were looking to give schools three weeks’ notice before reopening them in June.

And primary school kids will be first to go back, with schools staging a slow return to normal.

The Government has stressed they won’t do that until it’s safe to do so, but no date has yet been set.

And Ms Speilman added that younger kids should go back first.

She said: “There is a great deal of logic in targeting younger children.

“Of course, making normality for children is really important and the younger the child, the more they need that simple, structured routine where they understand what’s happening.”

It was logical to get younger children back so parents could get on with working responsibilities too, she said.

Schools have been shut nationwide since March 18 – three days before the full lockdown was revealed by Boris Johnson.

Nicola Sturgeon suggested last week that school classrooms may have to be redesigned to keep them apart.

The PM is set to outline his plan for how to open up the country again later this week.

He will discuss how to get kids back to school, adults back to work and how to restart the economy again.

However, any tweaks to the lockdown are likely to be small this week, if anything.

Boris has stressed Britain must keep the lockdown measures in place to ensure the rate of transmission stays as low as possible.

Earlier Grant Shapps estimated it was between 0.6 and 0.85 at the moment – anything over one will mean the cases begin to grow again.

Boris Johnson will set out his roadmap to ending the lockdown this week