According to the preliminary findings from a new study, half of the parents in the UK are not comfortable about their children resuming school after the lockdown ends.
The COVID-19 Supporting Parents, Adolescents, and Children in Epidemics (Co-SPACE) survey led by researchers at the University of Oxford asked more than 10,000 parents about their opinion on their children returning to school.
Parents and carers reported concerns regarding the practical considerations of children returning to school, such as adoption of social distancing, as well as the risk of children or themselves getting infected or transmitting COVID-19. Parents from lower income households and those unemployed were less comfortable than those with higher incomes or those employed.
Parents of children with special education needs and/or neurodevelopmental disorders were particularly concerned that their child may not receive adequate emotional, behavioural and educational support. Such parents along with those of children with pre-existing mental health issues also expressed concerns about the uncertainty of things, changes to routine, entertaining activities not happening in school and being away from home.
Professor Tamsin Ford, child and adolescent psychiatrist at the University of Cambridge, said: "It is really important to understand the concerns of parents about their children going back to school so that schools and local services can best support families. The impact of the lockdown will vary according to the home and school circumstances of the child, as well as their age, as will the support needed."