Parents Are Ignoring School Closures And Still Taking Their Children In
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Whilst the government announced last week those deemed 'key workers' can leave their children in school, it has stressed that this should only be done if absolutely necessary.
However, it has since emerged that key worker parents who have other adults at home to look after their children are sending them to school anyway - while some parents who aren't on the list at all are coming up with excuses to send kids in.
Some are reportedly asking to leave their kids in school for outrageous reasons such as because they are busy 'fitting the family kitchen.'
One school worker tweeted: "We have just spent two hours writing a letter to parents begging them not to abuse the system as they are bragging about doing so on social media. Feel for my husband (HT) and his staff in the front line. EMERGENCY childcare was really not made clear on Wed".
Another wrote: "Some [parents] are sending them because they feel they have the right despite the other person in the house being able to look after them- a partner, a teen. They think it's their right. Abuse this week - that's what staff have had.
A third complained about a "stay-at-home mum who thinks her children should be able to come to school because her husband is a key worker."
The Department of Education said: "We have asked parents to keep their children at home, wherever possible, and for schools to remain open only for those children who absolutely need to attend.
"Children with at least one parent/carer who is critical to the COVID-19 response can go to school if required."
It added: "However, many families with parents working in critical sectors will be able to ensure their child is kept at home. And every child who can be safely cared for at home should be, to limit the chance of the virus spreading."
Paul Whiteman, head of school leaders' union NAHT has since explained that you should "only leave your child at school if you have no other choice."
He said: "My appeal to the families of key workers is: This is not business as usual. Keep your family at home if at all possible. Leave the few spaces available for those that truly have no alternative."
Gavin Williamson, Secretary of State for Education, said on Twitter: "You should only send your child to school on Monday if you have to, because your work is critical to our COVID-19 response. If you are able to keep your child at home, you should. #StayHomeSaveLives".
But demonstrating how parents are flouting the rules, one school worker tweeted: "I've got one [pupil] in on Monday because his mum is a nurse and his dad, who doesn't work, will be too busy starting to fit the new family kitchen."
Another said: "I have many parents making all sorts of claims to try and get their child in school or are not wanting to keep them at home when they could."
On hearing that parents were not keeping kids at home where they can, people were quick to call others "selfish" and "pathetic" online.
But with vague wording from the government about who can and cannot go to school, it's no wonder people are confused, so perhaps it's best not to point the finger until the government clarifies its sentiments on key worker children.
Others think the 'key worker' list itself is too extensive and needs revising.
One person took to Twitter to say: "Too many people have been classed as critical workers and you need to revise it. Both my wife & I have been classed as critical. We're not. We won't be sending our children to school but some in the same position will as they will see it as free childcare."
"Key workers should work and non key workers should be at home with the kids don't be selfish."
So whilst schools are staying open purely for those that need it, the advice if you're a key worker is only use the service is needed.
Ultimately, if you can keep your kids at home, looked after and isolated, then please do.