A PHASED return to school for young children is expected to start from the beginning of June, but some people are worried about the ramifications this move could have.

Children’s education is paramount in the decision along with the ability to get people back to work but the public has fears about another Covid-19 spike.

Graham Frost, headteacher at Robert Ferguson Primary School in Denton Holme, said: “The BMA says it is premature to open to more pupils. The infection rate for Cumbria says it is premature. Safety has to come first.

“It is essential we continue to provide childcare for frontline workers, and teaching staff will continue to support home learning.

“Teachers would be delighted if it was safe for more children to return, but only when the science about the dangers to children and the community is known, and systems of test, track and trace are working.

“The Government has to do more to prevent the spread of the virus, not gamble with lives.”

Karen Lockney, Labour county councillor for Denton Holme, said: “I’m concerned about the safety and welfare of staff and pupils at Robert Ferguson Primary School in my own division, but also for all schools.

“As a parent myself, it does not feel right to me to have endured two months of lockdown, and for it then to be our children who we put back into the danger zone before we have firm scientific data.”

Mrs Lockney added: “I’m aware that British Medical Association advice is that there seems to be a low risk for children: their public health medicine committee chair has said this week that there ‘is no united view’ on whether they can spread it to adults. Therefore, this risks the lives of teachers and the families of children.

“I’m confident teachers will do their very best to keep pupils safe and try to observe social distancing. However, we all know it is going to be an uphill struggle to keep children, especially five-year-olds, two metres apart at all times.

“I admire the position taken by at least 18 English councils not to reopen schools until we have better scientific evidence, including a track and trace system in place.”

Cumbria County Council has reassured parents and staff that it will not be one single approach to reopening for all schools.

Instead, individual schools, and school clusters, will make their own decisions following a risk-based assessment process.