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A headteacher of a primary school in Kent has written a letter to all parents warning that social distancing "does not exist" in schools.
Howard Fisher, who is headteacher of St George's Church of England Primary School, issued the letter to parents on Monday, claiming he would rather kids "repeat a year" than risk their safety.
The letter was sent the day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressed the nation on Sunday evening, in which he advised that - if possible - reception, year one and year six students would be phased back into the classroom from June.
Having been posted on the school's Facebook page, the letter has now been shared 15,000 times on social media.
It reads: "[...] We have no plans sent from the government before the announcement last night.
"No doubt they will arrive this week suggesting social distancing, less pupils in school, splitting them up, staggered lunches and drop offs, etc.
"I can be truthful here and categorically tell you there is no such thing as social distancing in a school; it does not exist and would never exist.
"The reason childhood illnesses spread in a school is because, surprise, surprise, we are all in contact with each other, I can put two children in opposite classrooms and they will still get chicken pox because that's how it is in a school. The virus we are lead to believe is a super spreader."
The headteacher goes on to explain that he would rather see the children repeat a year than risk their lives.
"Do I want the staff and the children back; of course. Are you at the end of your tether at home; of course you are.
"However I am not going to sit here and write to you to say we can achieve social distancing in a school.
"We can always make things safer, we could perhaps reduce slightly the risk, but as soon as you open the school as far as my many years can tell you, the risk will be there.
"[...] There is not a reliable test, a vaccine, an idea about what to do next, there is just the possibility that things will be ok; that's all we have at the moment and 'ok' is not good enough when it comes to the precious gift that is your child.
"[...] Believe me, I would rather any child repeats a year than go back too soon and have to lose a child; why is this not in the national debate; because it will cost money!
"So, parents, what can you do next?! Well, all I can do is pass onto you information when we have it and you can make your own decision.
"Parent power is quite something when it is applied nationally; perhaps you too have some great ideas that can be brought before our politicians."
The letter comes after a heartbreaking photo of children in a French pre-school was also shared on social media this week.
The image, which shows children playing in their own chalked out squares within a playground, shows what schools may look like post lockdown.
Les enfants font leur rentrée aujourd'hui (un petite partie d'entre-eux plutôt).
Ambiance très étrange, voire dérangeante... pic.twitter.com/g91y5hLatJ
- Lionel Top (@lioneltop) May 12, 2020
Local reporter, Lionel Top captured the picture at a pre-school in Tourcoing and shared it on Twitter. It comes as approximately 1.5 million pre-school and primary school kids returned to classrooms in France earlier this week.
As well as kids playing in their own chalked squares, children can also be seen sitting at socially distanced desks, with red tape plastered across the floor.
Thousands of people have commented on the upsetting images, with many calling them "heartbreaking".
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