A million children in England – half of those who are expected to return when their classes reopen – are likely to stay at home on Monday rather than go back to school, as many parents, councils and teachers remain sceptical of the government’s assurances over their safety.
According to the National Foundation for Educational Research, heads in England are expecting nearly half (46%) of families to keep their children at home.
It suggests that of the more than 2 million students in reception, year 1 and year 6 classes, about 1 million stayed at home.
It comes amid concerns from experts that children kept in home-schooling could feel isolated from their classmates.
However, due to new social-distancing guidelines in the classroom class sizes have been slashed as only reception, year one and year six were today asked back.
It comes ten weeks on from Boris Johnson’s address to the nation on March 23 urging Brits to stay at home amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Teachers in schools across Britain are getting to grips with new safety measures to stop coronavirus spreading.
Staff members at a primary school in Watlington, Oxfordshire, were pictured cleaning playground toys after break time.
Number 10 has defended its decision to send some primary school pupils back into class today.
The PM’s spokesman said: “We have only taken this step because we believe it is safe to do so.
“The medical evidence considered by the government scientists has been published.
“It’s hugely important that children do have the opportunity to get back into school and to learn but we are doing this in a very cautious and safe way.”