More than 300,000 sign petition calling for parents to be allowed not to send children back to school

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A petition calling for parents to be allowed not to send their children back if schools reopen in June has attracted more than 300,000 signatures.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson yesterday announced that some primary pupils in England could return to school as early as June 1 – after half term – beginning with reception, year one and year six classes.

He also said the Government’s ‘ambition’ was that secondary pupils facing exams next year would get ‘at least some time’ with their teachers before the summer holidays.

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Some primary school pupils could return to the classroom as early as June 1 as coronavirus lockdown measures are easedSome primary school pupils could return to the classroom as early as June 1 as coronavirus lockdown measures are eased
Some primary school pupils could return to the classroom as early as June 1 as coronavirus lockdown measures are eased | JPIMedia

But a petition started by Lucy Browne says parents should be given the option not to send their child back if they are concerned about safety during the COVID-19 crisis.

“As a mum I don’t want to face serious repercussions for making a choice I feel affects the safety of my daughter during a global pandemic,” states the petition.

“The UK now has the highest death toll in Europe and second highest in the world. Many of us have lost confidence in the Government's handling of this crisis and feel it is too early to return children to schools. It seems it could pose risks not only to children but also teachers and those they live with - grandparents, parents and those with underlying health conditions.”

The petition adds there has been little assurance offered over the protective measures that will be put in place and warns that even drop-off and collection could increase the risk of transmission.

The petition was launched six days ago but had already been signed more than 300,000 times this morning.