Campaign aims to reassure parents that schools are safe to open


The government has launched a drive to reassure the public that it is safe to get back in to classrooms when schools reopen next month.

The #backtoschoolsafely campaign is aiming to make parents aware of the measures being put into minimise the risk of coronavirus transmission, in an effort to restore full time education in England.

“It matters on a very, very large scale,” headteacher Andrea Parker told Sky News, who is the face of the campaign.

The government has launched a PR campaign to get kids into schools
The government’s campaign to get kids into schools will launch on Monday

“We’ve got children who need that time with their friends, they need that time to play, they need that time to socialise.

“Children are in the habit of going to school every single day and overnight that has not happened… it’s been quite traumatic for all of our children.

“We really do need to make a commitment to get all our children back in.”

Measures, such as staggered start times, classroom bubbles and increased hygiene, have all been put in place by schools to improve the safety of staff and pupils.

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Speaking ahead of the campaign launch on Monday, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “The government is committed to doing everything necessary to deliver on our national priority of all students returning to schools and colleges in September.

“All children deserve to be back in school as it is the best place for their education and wellbeing.”

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He added: “I know families are growing more confident that schools and colleges are ready and waiting to get back to teaching, with the right protective measures in place.

“As the start of term approaches, now is the time for families to think about the practicalities of returning to school in September, whether that’s reassuring themselves that school is the best place for their child to be, or planning the school run to avoid public transport where possible.”

Meanwhile, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has warned Boris Johnson that it is his “moral responsibility” to open schools next month, saying in the Mail on Sunday: “I don’t just want all children back at school next month, I expect them back at school. No ifs, no buts, no equivocation.”

Labour has backed the decision to reopen schools in September, but has added that an effective test and trace system should be in place too, to give parents confidence.

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The government is under pressure to get schools open, after abandoning its pledge to get most pupils back in classrooms in June.

Mr Williamson is also facing further scrutiny, after the A-level results day last week was criticised, after many students were downgraded by a controversial algorithm.

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