Coun Patricia Bradwell

More children return to school but take up is ‘low’

More children returned to school this week as lockdown restrictions were eased, but the take up was ‘quite low’ a county councillor has said.

Schools have been asked to allow primary school pupils from Reception, Year One and Year Six pupils to return on top of looking after the children of key workers

It’s been left to schools’ discretion as to how or if they open while parents won’t be fined for keeping children away.

Speaking to Lincolnshire County Council’s executive on Tuesday, Coun Patricia Bradwell said that 92 per cent of schools are open for the stated age brackets but “there’s been quite a low uptake”.

“Whether when parents see it working more children will come, we don’t know,” she said.

Parents have been divided on whether to send children back though most that commented online said their children would be going back if eligible.

Karen Mansfield said: “Two of my six chlidren are going back. They are happy seeing their friends.”

Another, Jen Richer, said: “My daughter’s school opens next week and I’m sending her back as she needs the routine and transition to secondary school as she is in Year Six.

“She is looking forward to going.”

But Joanne Devaney said: “Nope mine are staying home!!

“We can only meet in groups of six but can send kids back to school in classrooms of 15! I don’t think so!”

Monkshouse Primary School remains open only for the children of key workers who have booked in and is not as yet having Reception, Year One and Year Six back.

A letter to parents signed by chair of governors Alistair Main and head Sue Goodsell said its “priority must be the health, safety and well-being of our school community.”

The letter states: “We have all been working closely throughout the lockdown and have come to this decision because, late yesterday, it was confirmed by the government that the COVID alert system introduced was still at level four and the level of transmission within the community was deemed high.

“The government had communicated that it would be at level three when schools began their phased return.

“It is also clear that there are issues surrounding the track and trace system.

“These issues need time to be addressed, whilst ensuring that the system is effective in assisting a fall in transmission levels. In order to be safe to reopen, we believe that the alert level has to fall to level three, as originally communicated by the government.”

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