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Half of parents don't send kids back to school in UK

As local school leaders plan for a return in fall, half of UK parents are keeping their kids at home.
Credit: Pexels

It feels like summer and kids are out of school, but Year 1 and Year 6 students returned to classrooms in the United Kingdom on Monday.

It didn't appear that many people were wearing masks or putting hand sanitizer on kids in London as the kids arrived.

That's much different than the scene when kids returned in South Korea two weeks ago.

And while the UK children returned, a survey from the National Foundation for Educational Research issued the day earlier said primary school leaders in the UK expect that 47-percent of families will keep their children home.

"I could understand the government's sort of wanting to get things started as soon as possible because the country can't be a lockdown forever. But I also need to watch from a sort of health perspective, whether it's a practical thing for our family to do," said Katherine, the mother of a Year 6 student.

Many UK parents doubt that schools can provide health and safety measures and that students would be able to strictly follow social distancing rules.

The government has issued guidelines for schools to reopen, including a maximum class size of 15 and sitting positions of six-and-a-half feet apart.

One primary school teacher, Laura, in central England, supports  the government's decision to resume classes.

She didn't provide her last name. 

"I think to Year Six in particular, because if we don't go back now, those children will go to secondary school and they won't properly finish primary school," Laura said.

Local school leaders are already working on plans for the fall and a hopeful return to buildings.

Perrysburg Schools just sent out a survey for parents to fill out.

Credit: Tim Miller
A new survey asks for Perrysburg parents' thoughts about returning to school in the Fall

Questions include, "how comfortable do you feel in sending your children back to school if safety practices were accepted by the health department?" and "do you have a mask for your kids to wear or a thermometer at home to take their temperatures?"

The school leaders want Perrysburg parents to fill out the survey by June 7.