Clive Bull 1am - 4am
Mums discuss why they did - or did not - send their kids back to school
1 June 2020, 12:53
Parents across the country have had to make the decision this morning whether to send their children back to school following the roll back of coronavirus lockdown measures.
Primary schools in England are the first to resume classes for Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 pupils after Boris Johnson announced last week it would be safe to start a staggered reopening.
Some nurseries are also expected to restart.
But this is an opinion that has split the nation's parents in two, with around 46 per cent of families expected to keep their children at home, according to a study by the National Foundation for Educational Research.
Sacha Myers, from Brentwood in Essex, said she had decided to keep her five-year-old son Jack at home as she was thinking about the effect social distancing could have on the pupils.
"I was more concerned about the social side of things," Ms Myers told LBC News, adding that she hadn't been too worried about COVID-19 as there were no direct vulnerable contacts in her household.
"He's going to be going back to school - he can see his friends but he can't play with them [...] For me, personally, I felt like I would be sending him to school to stand and play by himself in the playground when he could be happy at home.
Ms Myers said Jack could be an "anxious little boy", which is why she had tried to protect him from the coronavirus developments, and the "confusion" of not being able to play with his friends.
She added: "I just think it's really, really confusing for children his age - that's really hard to understand."
For Rebecca Wales, whose son Conrad is in Year 6 and is a little older than Jack, there was a more positive feeling about sending him back.
Speaking to LBC News outside Bridgetown Primary School as she dropped him off, she said: "We're feeling quite good about things generally.
"It's like the first day back at school again; it's a slight apprehension for me, mainly. I think he's absolutely fine. He's gone in; he didn't even say goodbye, so that's a good sign."
Headteacher Jane Tailby shared Ms Wales' enthusiasm, saying she felt the morning had gone "pretty well so far" as the children filed into school in "a staggered way".
"They all seem happy - a little bit apprehensive underneath - but they seem comfortable and confident about being here, so so far so good," she said as she crossed her fingers.