Nick Brook, deputy general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said: “The desire to bring everyone back to school, as soon as it is safe to do so, is correct. But fines are too blunt a way of making this happen. They drive a wedge between schools and families at the best of times. That is something we can ill afford when the priority is to get more pupils back into class. Achieving this will rely on a huge amount of cooperation and understanding between schools and families.
"The reality is that if a parent is concerned enough about their child’s safety to keep them off school, the threat of a fine is unlikely to change their minds.
“It is very clear from Parentkind’s research that confidence in a full return to school in September remains low for a significant number of parents. There are many who do not feel that the government has explained how and why it will be safe for pupils to go back in the autumn term. It is now up to the government to mount a substantial public information campaign over the summer to make families aware of the evidence they have based their decisions on, and the safety precautions schools they are recommending for September.”
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