Parents who will refuse to send children back to England schools in September will be paying fines unless they have a valid reason to substantiate the child’s absence from classroom, announced the education secretary.
The government is set to reopen schools in the autumn and unveil subsequent plans for the same. Pupils have to compulsorily attend school irrespective of their age groups. Except in localities where COVID-19 infection rates are high, the mandate is applicable for all.
“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,” says Gavin Williamson, Secretary of State for Education and Member of Parliament.
The focus is to resume compulsory education though headteachers had previously dismissed the idea of school reopening as “pure fantasy.”
Although fines for non-attendance were suspended during COVID-19 pandemic and parents were given the authority to decide for their wards, the approach would change September onwards.
“Many parents will have genuine concerns about whether it will be safe to send their children to school and they will need to know that all necessary and appropriate steps have been taken to ensure that schools are covid-secure,” commented Patrick Roach, General Secretary of NASUWT teaching union.