Parents across North Staffordshire are awaiting news of whether their child’s school will reopen next month.
Now Home Secretary priti Patel has added to the debate by saying that she would feel confident to send her own child back to the classroom.
Asked if sanctions should be taken against councils or teachers who refuse to reopen schools on June 1, Priti Patel told LBC: “No. First of all, we are not at the 1st of June yet, we have time to work together.
“It’s wrong to sort of say well ‘X’ needs a sanction or ‘Y’ needs a sanction.”
But she said there needs to be a “pragmatic solution”.
Asked whether she would feel confident sending her child back to primary school in June, she replied: “I would be.”
Although she said she was “very worried about a number of things”, she said “children’s education is absolutely vital”, adding: “From my spectrum where I work in Government I also see what happens to vulnerable children and children who basically suffer a great deal of educational disadvantage.
“We are working right now, and rightly so, with the unions, with schools. Our brilliant department of education as well, working night and day really to see how we can bring a package of measures together to get schools open for the 1st of June.
“Guidance has gone to schools already in terms of smaller classroom sizes, staggering lunch times, bringing in practical measures. I think we have to be practical and pragmatic about this.
“This isn’t rushing back to a normal school day, or full schools going back.
“We have to be really sensible and really practical about this.”