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High risk mother is 'afraid for her health' over sending children back to school

Peterborough children are returning to school next week after they shut their doors to the majority of students in March – but not all parents are comfortable with it.
School pupil
High risk mother is 'afraid for her health' over sending children back to school (Photo: PA)

As the country went into lockdown, students across the UK were sent home from school unless their parents were key workers, but they will be heading back next week.

Concerns have been raised regarding whether students will be able to socially distance, and one mother Alexa Praias, 38, will be sending her three children of school age back, though after spending months shielding, she has voiced her worries. 

Alexa, of Stanground, explained how she feels she's endangering her own health and with the fining system in place, she's unable to keep them at home. 

She said: "I think it's too soon to go back. If the government thought I should shield, then it surely isn't safe for me to start going on school runs when it isn't viable to keep social distancing.

"I don't trust that they are opening schools because it's better for the children, I believe they are doing it for the economy, and I think we should at least be given the choice of sending our children back or having remote learning – Ontario, Canada has done this.

"The whole idea seems ridiculous and I feel that most parents need to go back to work or are fed up with having the kids home all the time so no one is asking questions as to how school is safe.

"Most families don't have someone immunocompromised so it isn't as bad for them. I'm afraid and stressed for my health, but if I don't send my children back I will be fined. Home schooling isn't an option for us and I do want my children to return to school, but only when it's safe to do so."

Government guidelines say that returning to school is vital for children’s education and for their wellbeing.

A statement on Gov.uk says: Time out of school is detrimental for children’s cognitive and academic development, particularly for disadvantaged children. This impact can affect both current levels of learning and children’s future ability to learn therefore we need to ensure all pupils can return to school sooner rather than later.

"The risk to children themselves of becoming severely ill from coronavirus is very low and there are negative health impacts of being out of school. We know that school is a vital point of contact for public health and safeguarding services that are critical to the wellbeing of children and families."

For more information on their guidance, click here.