Joe Anderson backed over plans to ‘resist’ reopening schools

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The Mayor of Liverpool has received support from parents after saying he will "resist" allowing schools to reopen in the city in just a few weeks' time.

Joe Anderson made the comments in response to a government plan for partial reopenings starting with primary schools on June 1.

He said he could not see the logic of forcing primary pupils to go back when issues around safety and transmission of the virus are still unclear.

And it seems many parents agree with him.

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Speaking to the ECHO, Mayor Anderson said: "As the council, we have a duty of safeguarding for these children and to protect our staff.

"There is a real issue in having children return to school and not knowing whether they might be carrying the virus and spreading it to other kids and to staff.

"We are hearing from parents and unions who have massive concerns about the fact the government are forcing this and for what? For four weeks?"

The Mayor had also taken to Twitter earlier today to tweet: "Education is vital, however, it does not come before the health and safety of our children & staff.

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"We have responsibility for safeguarding our children and so I will resist allowing schools to reopen in June. To do so risks our children’s and staff safety."

With over 500 Facebook comments on the ECHO story, parents have expressed strong opinions on what the Mayor had to say.

Marc Whitmore commented: “I really hope he follows through and does this. I do NOT want my daughter back in school until at least September.

“We are safely locked down, my daughter is performing well and is coping mentally with the challenges and she is 16!

“I cannot imagine how things will be with Reception for example – please [G]od let common sense and safety for all prevail.”

Paul Golding was also in agreement with the Mayor, commenting: "As much as I don’t like Joe Anderson I like to thank him for putting our children and their teachers first.

"There was no way my son was going back to school until it is 100 per cent safe for him and every other child and staff, no matter what the PM & Government want. Just not Happening."

Mohammed Badrul Islam expressed his concern that teachers would not be able to implement social distancing when children go back to school.

He said: “It’s going to be tough for children to keep to social distancing measure. Reception children won’t understand social distancing.

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He went on to question how children can successfully be kept separate during playtime, adding: “I’m not sending my kids to school. Their health is [more a] priority than a few weeks of school.”

But not everyone supported the mayor.

Mike Cooper said: "Kids in Denmark have been back at school for a few weeks now, why don't we look at what they have done?

"Kids play in playground as they normally do and there's been no evidence of 2nd wave since relaxing lockdown."

Emma Jane Morley stressed the effects the lockdown and missing school is having on her own children, saying: “My son [is] starting secondary school in September and I hoped for him to be able to have his leavers with his little mates.

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“The whole situation is really sad for the kids. It worries me the younger kids are gonna grow up scared of human interaction.

“That can’t be good emotionally. Fingers crossed for some normality soon.”

With the plan being for Years Reception, 1 and 6, along with nurseries and childminders, expected to resume lessons first followed by Years 2, 3, 4 and 5 later in June, it seems the argument is set to run.

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