With a day to go before most schools in England open their gates for the autumn term, school leaders’ union NAHT recommends that the government drops its controversial plans to fine parents if they do not send their children back to class.
Paul Whiteman, general secretary of NAHT, which represents leaders in the majority of schools, said: “School leaders and their teams have stuck to their task and parents can have confidence that they have taken every practical step to be ready to welcome pupils back this week. We hope that attendance will be as close to 100 per cent as possible, but we understand that there will still be some families who do not yet feel ready to return.
“If you are a parent and you are worried about safety, a fine is unlikely to make you feel any safer. The government understands this, but the threat of fines still remains, so we’re urging the government to take the threat of fines off the table, for the coming term. This would send a powerful signal to parents and families and could well mean that more of them are willing to bring their children back to school, which is what we all want to see.
“We can see few circumstances in which a fine would be appropriate in this ‘covid term’”.
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