Schools ringing parents' bosses to check they aren't lying about being key workers to get children in class
SCHOOLS are contacting parents' workplaces to check they aren't lying about being key workers.
It comes amid a surge in the number of children in classrooms in comparison to the previous lockdown.
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Schools have been closed for a month now, but under guidelines parents who are key workers are allowed to send their children to school.
The government did, however, urge adults to keep their kids at home if possible.
But some parents have been accused of falsely claiming key worker status in a bid to send kids to class after the Department of Education widened the categories of vulnerable children who can still attend.
Now, schools are checking with employers that parents are in fact key workers.
Letters and emails have been sent out saying they will check employee status with bosses.
It has prompted furious backlash from parents over the situation, with one mum saying she has had to keep her child home despite being a key worker.
She told Teesside Live: "Here's me, an actual key worker working from home, but I daren't send my kids into their school because it's full of kids whose parents aren't key workers.
"They should be ashamed."
It comes after schools reportedly started rationing places for children of key workers after classrooms become 60 per cent full.
But Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School & College Leaders, says schools have "better things to do with their time".
He told the Mail: "Schools clearly have much better things to do with their time than having to phone employers to check that places are really needed.
"But they have been placed in the very difficult position of having much higher demand than in the first lockdown.".
Health experts say that the closure of schools, despite the significant impact on children’s education and wellbeing, is vital to bring down the rate of infection.
Boris Johnson has warned schools can't reopen until March 8 at the very earliest as Covid cases are still too high.
The PM said he "understands people want to go further" and get back to normal as quickly as possible – and insisted: "I share that urgency."
But he vowed not to open schools too soon or there was a huge risk the nation could be "forced into reverse" and would have to turn on the brakes once again.
Top professors, however, believe children should be back in the classroom after the February half-term and other restrictions should be lifted soon after.
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