North East UK news Schools struggle as parents continue sending children PremierLeague-News.Com
PremierLeague-News.Com - More than eight in ten parents at some schools are demanding their children continue to attend, a Gateshead MP has said
PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! Some North East schools which "closed" during the new national lockdown are struggling because eight out of ten parents still send their children, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has been told. Ian Mearns, MP for Gateshead, raised the issue as he questioned the Education Secretary in a Commons committee hearing. Schools have been partly closed since January 5 in order to reduce the spread of Covid-19, with pupils learning from home. But children of key workers are still allowed to attend, along with those classed as vulnerable, such as children receiving support from social services. Children who do not have a quiet place to study at home, or access to a computer or tablet, are also allowed to attend. Mr Mearns said that in his constituency, some schools reported more than eight out of ten parents were demanding places for their children - raising fears about their ability to enforce social distancing and keep staff and pupils safe. Speaking at the Commons Education Committee, he said: "Since the new lockdown, I am aware in my own locality of massive additional stress being placed on teaching staff and management staff, in terms of allocating the places that are available "There are huge demands from parents, and of course from vulnerable children as well, in order to come and get those places that are available." He added: "85% of the children, their parents are asking for places because they are key workers, they are vulnerable children or they haven't got a device or all the rest of it." Mr Williamson said that nationwide, around 14% of children were still attending school. He said: "There will be particular areas where they are close to a hospital, close to critical industry, where they are running at a much higher rate.
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. In 2% of schools, one in 50, more than half of children are still attending, she said. Mr Williamson also said mass coronavirus testing would be rolled out for both teaching and support staff in primary schools by next week. “I want to see mass testing rolled out across all education settings,” he told a parliamentary select committee. “What we’re seeing from January 18 is the rollout of staff testing for primary school teachers. “Testing is a really important part of bringing people back into school. It’s an important part of fighting Covid right across the community. “If we’re testing a child, in essence, we’re in a position where we’re also testing a household as well. “We’re extending staff testing as of next week to primary schools and I would like to see it rolled out to all pupils, that’s my ambition – that’s where I want us to get to.” Mr Williamson said that both primary teachers and support staff would be able to self-administer the tests at home and the Government was providing a £78m support package to help with the mass rollout.
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