For many parents, the end of the school holidays can provide them with a sense of relief. However, quite understandably, while the Covid-19 outbreak is still around, there is a great deal more hesitation for parents surrounding children returning to school during September.
The government indicated in May that if parents chose not to send children who were eligible to return to school, they would not be fined. This no longer applies. From September 2020, it will once again be compulsory for all children to attend school. Parents who fail to send their children could find themselves having to pay a £60 fine, which can double if not paid within 21 days. This may prove particularly difficult in cases involving separated parents if agreement cannot be reached on whether to return their child to school. One parent could in theory apply to the court to stop a child returning to school. However, given this change in policy, any application to court of that nature would almost certainly be rejected. The message from the government now is that all children must return to school
However, there are some exceptions to sending children to school; for example the child cannot return if he/she has developed symptoms of Covid-19, or someone within the household has. In those circumstances, parents should liaise closely with the school to agree when the child should return. Whilst there is a degree of hesitancy, it is important that parents work with schools to ensure that children can return to a safe environment during the current climate.