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Parents who don’t send their children back to school in September could be fined

watfordobserver: Parents in England could be fined if they do not send their children back to school in September, the Education Secretary has said.

Gavin Williamson said a return to school will be “compulsory” and families may face financial penalties if they keep their children at home – unless there is a “good reason” for the absence.

A detailed plan on how the Government will ensure that all children in England are back in the classroom in the autumn will be set out by the end of this week, the minister said.

His remarks came as Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer accused the Government of being “asleep at the wheel” on the issue of reopening schools, adding that there has been a “lack of planning”.

Speaking on Sky News, he said: “If you could put up Nightingale hospitals – a good thing to do – you can certainly put up temporary classrooms, you can certainly take over libraries, community centres.”

Mr Williamson said the Government is still consulting on how to return all pupils to the classroom in the autumn, but that advice for schools on reopening will be unveiled this week.

He also confirmed on Monday that families could be fined if they do not send their children back in September.

He told LBC: “It is going to be compulsory for children to return back to school unless there’s a very good reason, or a local spike where there have had to be local lockdowns.

“We do have to get back into compulsory education as part of that, obviously fines sit alongside that.

“Unless there is a good reason for the absence then we will be looking at the fact that we would be imposing fines on families if they are not sending their children back.”

Some children began returning to school at the beginning of this month – but, ahead of the phased reopening, the Government confirmed that parents who do not feel safe sending their children back to school would not face fines.

The latest Government figures show that around a third (34%) of all Year 6 children attended school on June 18, up from 26% on June 11.

Attendance was around a quarter (26%) in Year 1, up from a fifth the previous week, and 29% in Reception, up from 22% on June 11, the figures show.

Speaking on Monday, Boris Johnson said the fact that more pupils are not back at school yet is a source of “deep frustration” for him.

The Prime Minister told Times Radio that teaching unions and councils should be saying “loud and clear” that schools are safe.

Asked if there will be a detailed plan for a return to school in September this week, Mr Williamson told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “There will.”

He said: “We’re going to take the opportunity to spell out exactly as to how we will see a full return for all children back into school before the end of this week.

“As I’m sure you’ll understand and appreciate at the moment, we’re consulting and talking with different people, whether it’s headteachers, whether it’s unions, whether it’s representative bodies.”

Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), has called for a “period of grace” before fining parents if they refuse to send their children back to school when they fully reopen.

He said: “We don’t think that it is the right approach to fine parents for the non-attendance of children as soon as schools fully reopen in September, and the Government should not expect schools to take this action.

“There will be many frightened and anxious parents out there, and this is very much a case of building confidence that it is safe to return, rather than forcing the issue through the use of fines.

“The Government must show a greater understanding of the realities of the situation, and we would recommend that there is a period of grace while normal patterns resume.”

Source: Published by watfordobserver

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Agim Uchenna Vincent
Agim Uchenna Vincent
4 days ago

All will be fine

JOSBISCO
JOSBISCO
4 days ago

Why should Dy be fine

Gabriel Eluare.
Gabriel Eluare.
4 days ago

That’s an organised country

Daniel Simon
Daniel Simon
4 days ago

that’s a welcome development

Faith Osaghae
Faith Osaghae
4 days ago

It’s gonna be fun

reuben amicable
reuben amicable
4 days ago

Only for whites as for black who cares

Adubi oluwafemi samuel
Adubi oluwafemi samuel
4 days ago

Nice one

Edidiong Udofa
Edidiong Udofa
4 days ago

it will be fine

Adeyemi Sunday
Adeyemi Sunday
4 days ago

it has to be a gradual process

Afolami mercy Titilola
Afolami mercy Titilola
4 days ago

They will be fined only in developed countries

Hassan faruuq opeyemi
Hassan faruuq opeyemi
4 days ago

This can’t happen in Nigeria

Nweke onyedikachi
Nweke onyedikachi
4 days ago

No problem

Anene ifeanyi
Anene ifeanyi
4 days ago

Placing a fine won’t be necessary

Attach Oliver Ifeanyi
Attach Oliver Ifeanyi
4 days ago

So Is now by force

ADEGOKE ADEKUNLE MICHAEL
ADEGOKE ADEKUNLE MICHAEL
4 days ago

That’s good decision

Dimude chinonso johnbosco
Dimude chinonso johnbosco
4 days ago

That will so great

Adisa Taiwo
Adisa Taiwo
4 days ago

Nice one

Biobaku Toheeb Olamilekan
Biobaku Toheeb Olamilekan
4 days ago

nice update

Aladetoyinbo Tunde James
Aladetoyinbo Tunde James
4 days ago

Nigeria should follow suit

Ndumnwere Chima
Ndumnwere Chima
4 days ago

That’s a real government.

Abdulmumini yusuf
Abdulmumini yusuf
4 days ago

That is good

Oladosu Olumide
Oladosu Olumide
4 days ago

God will have mercy

Ehigie Peter
Ehigie Peter
4 days ago

This is a welcome development!

Anyaechem Benedict
Anyaechem Benedict
4 days ago

it’s ridiculous, it can’t happen in Nigeria

Ayorinde Olanrewaju
Ayorinde Olanrewaju
4 days ago

IT’ will all be over soon

Nnamdi Nwabueze
Nnamdi Nwabueze
4 days ago

they should be careful in reopening schools

Juliet Success
Juliet Success
4 days ago

That can only be seen in developed countries.

Joshua Samson
Joshua Samson
4 days ago

things will get better soon

Nwakasi Ikenna
Nwakasi Ikenna
4 days ago

Pay fine for what?

Ajagbe Olufemi
Ajagbe Olufemi
4 days ago

It is well

EZINWA Sonia JOHN
EZINWA Sonia JOHN
4 days ago

Good one.

Andemah jairus
Andemah jairus
4 days ago

That’s good

odudu eseoghene
odudu eseoghene
4 days ago

advanced country

Muhammed Hammed
Muhammed Hammed
4 days ago

they should be careful in reopening schools

Lakubbe Eli Hamma
Lakubbe Eli Hamma
4 days ago

Very good

Chukwuma Daniel
Chukwuma Daniel
4 days ago

School should open please

Christopher Ege
Christopher Ege
4 days ago

Nice update

Felix Okorie
Felix Okorie
4 days ago

That’s an organized country. It can’t happen here in Nigeria

Nnate Okoro Uguru
Nnate Okoro Uguru
4 days ago

Really good

Chiemela chidiebube faith
Chiemela chidiebube faith
4 days ago

Is a welcome development

Okpala Izunna Emmanuel
Okpala Izunna Emmanuel
4 days ago

It’s not safe yet.

Obasi victor uma
Obasi victor uma
4 days ago

It Will be fine

Raheeem mustapha abiodun
Raheeem mustapha abiodun
4 days ago

Returning children back to school is important

Aremoh James Oyewole
Aremoh James Oyewole
4 days ago

Not in my country Nigeria

Jonah Ihotuowoicho Sunday
Jonah Ihotuowoicho Sunday
4 days ago

Good one from England

Tavershima Maurice
Tavershima Maurice
4 days ago

Nice update

Nwede Kingsley
Nwede Kingsley
4 days ago

They shouldn’t be fined.

EMEKA NWANKWOALA
EMEKA NWANKWOALA
3 days ago

Children should resume.

Ewan
Ewan
3 days ago

It’s a welcome development,

Chiemerie nnam
Chiemerie nnam
3 days ago

That will be great if school will resume on September