Please authorise my children’s absences as the government ignores science on safe schools

We receive and publish another letter from a parent to their children’s school head teacher, notifying them of the intention to not send their children back on March 8th. We are asking the government to give parents freedom of choice and suspend fines for non attendance so parents who are concerned about catching Covid are able to home educate for a bit longer without losing the school place.

Hi ….,

I hope that you and your family are all safe and well. Things continue to be very concerning.

Further to the government’s announcement yesterday, it will come as no surprise to you that my children will not be returning to in person education on the 8th March.

The government continue to ignore the recommendations regarding full reopening of schools and continue to fail to adopt proper and adequate safety measures. Though I feel very upset about this, I cannot say that I am surprised.

Though the vaccination programme has begun, in some ways, things are worse now because of the now known variants, many of which can still infect us after vaccination.

I cannot have my children in school again yet, despite wanting them to be able to return, for two specific reasons:

  1. Children do spread Covid. Many scientists have established that they do in fact drive the spread. Therefore, if they return, my health and life will be at risk.
  2. If infected with Covid, though statistically they will be unlikely to suffer badly from the initial infection, Long Covid is now a very real danger to children. I cannot deliberately expose my children to any harm.

I do not want to deregister them. I’m hoping that as summer approaches, teaching will move to outside and attendance for my children, if wearing FFP2 masks, will be possible. I feel that they need to know that they can still return and they should be able to. They shouldn’t have to lose their school places because of a virus.

Therefore, please can their absence continue to be recorded as X after the 8/3 and support and education still be provided by school?

The DfE confirmed in December that, though the government is mandating attendance of all pupils, the head teachers do have discretion to allow authorised absence for families for whom they deem that appropriate.

The stress and anxiety the school and local authority caused me between September and December last term was hard to tolerate for both you and I. I sincerely hope that we will not be returning to that same battle ground again and that not only can our absence be authorised, but also that I will be supported with education for my children.

I cannot bear the thought of being threatened again with fines and legal action. The damage that caused to my mental health, on top of the anxiety caused by covid, was very hard to bear.

Thank you for your time and support. I’m so very grateful,

Name and surname were provided to SafeEdForAll

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