One day after the reopening of primary and preschool schools in the United Kingdom, school attendance is very uneven because many parents are still afraid of sending their children to schools and getting the coronavirus, according to data. officers.
More than 2 million preschool, first and sixth grade students were selected to return to school this Monday, but according to the Association of School and University Leaders, only around 800,000 children have attended.
“The expected level of student attendance is highly variable and we are hearing that it oscillates between 40% and 70% of the students. This is likely to increase as time goes on and more parents are confident that they will send their children to school, “said Geoff Barton, secretary general of the association.
For Barton the initial impression is that this week many schools will not openWhile there are others that still cannot incorporate all students due to space limitations and until all security protocols are implemented and there is sufficient availability of staff.
The head of the association explained that many schools that are opening this week are including staff, first to carry out the necessary training and preparation, and then to gradually incorporate the selected grades.
Schools remained open to vulnerable children and children of key service workers throughout the quarantine period, and as restrictions are relaxed, this is likely to lead to increased demand for school seats.
For schools this will be extremely challenging, especially for smaller schools.
Fear among parents and teachers about the impact of reopening schools was heightened by warnings over the weekend from some members of the Government Scientific Advisory Group and the Association of Directors of Public Health, who alerted to the danger of lifting restrictions too quickly when there is still a very high rate of infections per day.
In turn, John Edmunds, professor of infectious disease models at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, warned that there are still 8000 new infections every day in England not counting those in hospitals and nursing homes
Also the joint secretary general of the National Union of Education, Mary Bousted, in statements to the Sky News chain, urged Prime Minister Boris Johnson to “take a step back” before declaring that children should return to school on 15 June when, according to her, the infection rate “should be lower.”
On the other hand, a survey of 5,000 school leaders carried out for The Times newspaper, revealed that 20% of school staff, including teachers and assistants, are unable to return to work this week for health reasons.
Some teachers suffer from asthma and diabetes, while others live with a vulnerable family member, according to the survey.
Meanwhile, over the weekend two primary schools in England they had to suspend their activities again when cases of the infected were detected in the educational community.
Both schools remained open during quarantine as they were dedicated to children of essential workers and vulnerable children from other institutions.