Cornwall Council says no Truro parents will be fined for keeping kids off school

  Posted: 21.05.20 at 16:29 by Richard Whitehouse - Local Democracy Reporter

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Parents who decide that they do not want to send their children back to school next month will not be fined.

Cornwall Council said that it was providing help and support for schools preparing to welcome back more children next month.

The government says that schools should aim to reopen from June 1 with the first children to go back in Reception, Year One and Year Six.

However many parents and school staff have expressed concern about whether it is safe to return.

Schools have remained open during the lockdown to provide education and care for children of key workers and also for vulnerable children.

Sally Hawken, Cornwall Council Cabinet member for children and families, said that she had been working closely with schools.

She said: “It is important to acknowledge that this is a very difficult time for parents and school staff.

“We are working closely with schools on making decisions on whether they open. At the heart of those decisions is the health and safety of children and staff.”

She said that all schools in Cornwall were carrying out risk assessments to look at what they can and cannot do.

And she said that where there are problems the council would work with them to see what could be done to resolve the issues.

But while some local authorities have said that their schools will not be extending their offer in June Cllr Hawken said no such announcement would be made in Cornwall.

She said: “It would not be appropriate to have a blanket position for schools as all schools are different.”

Cllr Hawken said that any parents with concerns should contact their school headteacher and also advised parents to keep an eye out on announcements on school websites and on social media.

She said that “the health and safety of Cornish schoolchildren is paramount”.

And she said that schools were consulting with parents to see how many were likely to send their children back to school this term.

She added: “We know that some parents are finding home schooling very challenging.

“If parents do not take up the offer (of returning to school) they will not be fined.”

She added: “There is no compulsion here, it is an individual’s choice.”

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