EARLIER this week the British government made a u-turn on its decision to send children back to school, when plans were dropped to allow primary schools to open for one month before the summer.
Although the government has a new target of getting all children – both primary and secondary – to return by September, there are rising concerns it won’t be possible.
Even Boris Johnson was careful to say it was his “ambition” to reopen school in September, indicating some uncertainty.
Indeed, Health Secretary Matt Hancock admitted earlier this week that it was not completely certain children would be able to return as planned.
The main reason for the government’s reticence to commit to a date for schools to reopen is the fact that the Covid-19 infection rate remains too high in the UK.
Fears that a return to school will increase transmission of the disease to vulnerable relatives and the risks presented to teaching staff are also factors to be taken into consideration.
Some educators have criticised the government for keeping children at home for too long, with one commenting that “if schools don’t open in September, we will have an ice age in terms of children’s learning.”