Boris Johnson insists schools 'are safe' as he urges parents to send their children back

17 June 2020, 08:46 | Updated: 17 June 2020, 09:28

Boris Johnson said it is 'safe' for children to return to school
Boris Johnson said it is 'safe' for children to return to school. Picture: Getty/PA
Alice Dear

By Alice Dear

The Prime Minister said he didn't want any children to miss out on vital education in the coronavirus press briefing last night.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is urging parents to let their children return to school, insisting "it is safe".

Speaking in the press briefing at No. 10 Downing Street last night, Boris Johnson said there is "no need" for children to miss out.

Addressing the nation, he explained: "It has also been very good to see more and more children coming back to school this week.

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“Some secondary school pupils now returning for face to face contact with their teachers ahead of the exams next year, but I want to say to all parents whose children are eligible to return in primary school – and there are loads of them – I want to assure you it is safe.

“There is no need for your kids to miss out on their education. I hope they will go to school.”

The Prime Minister is urging parents to send their children back to school
The Prime Minister is urging parents to send their children back to school. Picture: PA

In England this month, millions of primary school children returned to classrooms, while Year 10 and Year 12 students also start to make the move.

However, official stats found that on June 11, only an estimated 868,000 children where in schools, which is around one in ten of the usual number.

The Government is keen to get children back to classrooms before the long summer break, which is begins next month.

The Prime Minister said he didn't want any children to miss out on vital education
The Prime Minister said he didn't want any children to miss out on vital education. Picture: Getty

Back in May, a study carried out by charity Parentkind found that 90 per cent of parents didn't want to send their children back to school when the lockdown was eased.

Chief Executive of Parentkind, John Jolly said: "Overwhelmingly parents tell us that they do not want their children to go back to school until it is safe to do so, with most wanting clarity on when this could be.

“It is vital that parents’ voices are heard and shape government action.”

National Education Union general secretary Kevin Courtney was calling for key criteria to be met before any return, and he said: “We agree with parents that schools should not return until it is safe to do so."

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