Monday, 1 June 2020

Chaos at school gates as some children are TURNED AWAY because teachers 'aren't ready for them'

Up to two million pupils were due to return to primary school today but some were turned away because headteachers 'weren't ready' for them while around half of parents have chosen to keep their children at home because of safety fears.

Up to 1,500 primary schools in England are estimated to be defying the Government's plan to get all reception, year 1 and year 6 children back in the classroom from June 1 as teachers admitted they were 'anxious' to work and unions demanded the date be pushed back to June 15 at the earliest.

Parents have revealed that many schools will remain closed for at least another week or more, while some have not yet set a date at all.  In other cases schools decided they can only increase the number of places for key workers' children, not for everyone.

At least two dozen councils, mostly run by Labour councillors, have refused to reopen their schools or left it up to headteachers, who are trying to find ways to ensure social distancing in their school buildings and ensuring they have enough teachers to teach 'bubbles' of up to ten children.


But while hundreds of thousands of young students are back in class and reunited with their friends and teachers today, MailOnline can reveal there was confusion at several schools in London with some parents arriving with their children only to be informed they couldn't come in and had to go home again.

Parents at Winsor Primary School in east London were turned away today and told teachers are still making arrangements. 

Glauciane Conti was turned away at the school gate this morning  with her son who is in year one. The 35-year-old, a cleaner from Forest Gate, said: 'My son just went in to ask the teachers and they say it is not open as they are still making arrangements. I don't understand. Now I have to go to work'. Gallions Primary School, also in Beckton, plans to remain closed to the general public this week.

Hanif Hazari, 58 accompanied his son Mahmamudullabi who is a year 6 pupil at Havelock Primary School in Southall, west London after being informed via a text message that it was reopening following the easing of the lockdown.

Mr Hazari said: 'The playground was completely deserted so I went into the school office and they told me that the school has now decided to remain closed and they don't have a date as yet as to when it will open. It's very confusing, I don't know what's going on. The Government appears to be saying one thing and the schools another.' Mahmamudullabi, 11, added: 'I hope the school opens soon because I'm getting really bored at home.'

Jaswinder Grover, who arrived at the school with his daughter Simran, a year 6 pupil said: 'I was initially told that the school would reopen today but as you can see, hardly anybody has turned up. And now the school is telling me something completely different. The Government needs to be a clearer about what's actually going on and when our kids can go back to school, which I hope is soon.'

A Havelock Primary official told MailOnline that the school is now not scheduled to reopen until June 15 at the very earliest. He added: 'Some parents were under the impression that we were opening on June 1. We're very sorry for any confusion that's been caused, and parents will be notified as soon as possible.' 

A government source denied that the situation was 'chaos', insisting the process of returning appeared to be going well. 'Many schools are welcoming back more pupils, take-up is in line with expectations,' the source said. 'We always said schools would begin the wider reopening from this week, it'll be a gradual process.' 

As schools reopened for the first time in ten weeks, it also emerged today:

  • Public health officers warn lockdown is being eased to fast and police say the rules are becoming impossible to enforce. Beaches have been crammed because of continuing good weather;
  • Britain have been handed a host of new freedoms from today – including meeting with friends and family, the reopening of some shops and pupils returning to school. But health experts warn there is 'no rationale' in letting two million people who were 'shielding' from Covid go back outside;
  • Huge queues formed outside Ikea as the Government allowed more shops, markets and car showrooms to open; 

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