Schools Are Getting Ready To Reopen, But Are Parents Ready To Send Their Children Back?

Schools in England will begin a phased reopening on Monday 1st June, but parents have many questions
Schools Are Getting Ready To Reopen, But Are Parents Ready To Send Their Children Back?

It's fair to say we are living in unprecedented times, and life is again about to be turned upside-down for parents of primary school children in England. While schools in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland remain closed to all except children of essential workers, schools in England have been instructed by the government to begin a phased reopening from Monday 1st June.

The idea is that children in Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 will be the first classes to return, with extra measures in place to safeguard the children, with other classes to return at a later, unspecified time.

Those are the facts, but as a parent of a Year 6 child I can tell you that it's definitely not that simple. My son is supposed to be returning to school on 1st June, and my head is buzzing with concerns and questions. The pressure is immense, as our local authority have said that it's not compulsory and they will not be fining for non-attendance, so I'm left with one of the most difficult decisions I have ever been forced to make; do I send my son back to school on 1st June, or keep him at home?

While I'm hoping it doesn't need saying, the decision for every parent is a personal one, and no-one should be criticised for whatever they choose, as each family's (and school's) circumstances are very different. As parents we are all just trying to do what's right for our children, and for Year 6 kids that's balancing the risks in the short term with the longer term advantages of being able to prepare them for the transition to secondary school. I don't mind admitting that I am completely torn.

Without breaching the school's confidentiality I can say that our local education authority has said that they are not implementing a blanket return to school as per the government's instructions, but are instead consulting with schools individually about how many classes they can safely teach whilst keeping to the social distancing rules. It seems that other councils are saying similar things, and will only allow classes to return when it is safe for children, teachers and school workers to do so.

My children's school have been fantastic about remote teaching, with daily work and updates, and I truly do trust them to do what's best for the children. The measures they are putting in place are very detailed and well thought out, however this is still a very tough decision for us to make, and we have to do it as a family.

Whilst my husband is being calm, logical and sensible about the situation, I have regressed to a purely emotional reaction, with it taking on the importance of a 'life or death' choice in my stressed haven't-left-the-house-in-two-months mindset. I know I need to calm down a little before we talk it through, as I've been reminded that a discussion when tensions are high are never productive, so we're all taking some time to think first.

Are you in this situation of having to decide whether to send your child back to school in less than two weeks? How will you choose what to do? What are your concerns? Hopefully we can help and support each other through this, as the first set of parents to be put in this position. Let us know your thoughts in the poll below or in the comments.


Reply to
  • Sammie I.

    ive read that you wont get fined for keeping your kids off, and when the school rang me they asked if my daughter was coming back or not, so im guessing it is an option and they arent forced to go back. im not sending mine back until it is more safe

    • Emma H.

      I wont be sending mine back until atleast September.

      • Jen R.

        agree be judged if you do and judged if you don’t x

        • Heidi R.

          Normality has to resume and start somewhere at some point. What if death rates etc are still high in september.

          • Kristy H.

            Every family is different! Do what you have to do :shrug_tone1:‍♀️ I can keep mine at home, so I will. Hopefully then it’s that tiny bit safer for those who do not have a choice.

            • Lynne R.

              Guess it depends if you work, some folk won't have a choice, personally mine will be going back as will I and I really couldn't care about folk judging me for it!!

              • Joanna C.

                Nope...and our school encourages that.

                • Georgina Y.

                  Have no idea when my daughter is meant to go back as no communication about year 5 but who cares! I will make the decision when the facts are laid out to us My year 9 isnt back till september. Just do what is right for YOUR family :slight_smile:

                  • Georgina J.

                    I think they'll be higher in September to be honest once everyone is unlocked!

                    • Gemma P.

                      Won’t be sending mine back... I am taking a wait and see approach... a lot could happen in a month or so.... would like to see how they handle social distancing first. Each to their own..... do what is best for your child

                      • Hides L.

                        I reckon that's when we will have our second wave in the winter months, hopefully by then we will have some sort of vaccine, But who knows... Can only hope and stay positive.

                        • Rache F.

                          I have 3 children , they are in each of the 3 years groups due to go back .. I’ve had many mixed feelings and people asking me what I am planning on doing !

                          • Tracy R.

                            personally I have 3 boys and not sending them back till September but not to do with death rates it’s to do with giving the schools plenty time to prepare for the change in how the schools are going to work my boys teachers have all rang me and other parents and even they have admitted they haven’t a clue how they can socially distance children!

                            • Alice B.

                              just do what you thinks best. No one else's opinion matters. X

                              • Claire G.

                                My children never stopped as me and my partner both being key workers.

                                • Victoria H.

                                  My youngest is effected and we are saying probably to him going back. He's already in a tiny class of 13 and they are super hot on cleanliness as he has non Ige allergies and reacts to cross contamination. He's been there since September and he's remained reaction free.

                                  • Abbie L.

                                    Our school have said due to not feeling they can confidently and safely protect staff and children they won’t be opening on June 1st and that should the children return before September those in Sandwell area won’t be learning the school curriculum anyways but while they remain at home they will be sent work

                                    • Emma M.

                                      My 5 year old isn't going back yet , my partner is furloughed until October at the latest and the school have been so supportive about our decision. I work for the NHS so have continued working throughout this pandemic with my partner looking after a 2 year old and almost 5 year old.

                                      • Debbie W.

                                        What about those who dont have a choice? I teach year 1 and my daughter is in year 2 at a different school. I have to put her in as a keyworkers child even though her year group aren't back in and I know both as a parent and teacher how difficult social distancing will be

                                        • Emma P.

                                          The school rang me yesterday, without any information about how the classes would be set out and lunch time, play time etc no reassurance for us parents. So I said no and they told me I wouldn’t be able to change my mind. Oh well.