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Virus concern over parents gathering at school gates

By Dominic Robertson | Newtown | Education | Published:

Concerns have been raised that parents are gathering at school gates and are not following social distancing measures.

School leaders across Mid Wales have raised the concernswith Powys County Council, which is now urging parents to work with their children’s school to reduce the risk of coronavirus spreading.

Council Phyl Davies, cabinet member for education and property, said: “We have received a number of reports from headteachers that parents are gathering at school gates before school starts and when it finishes for the day.

“We know that many youngsters have started primary and secondary school for this first time, and parents and children are excited. But I would urge parents to be mindful of the coronavirus guidance and work with the council and the school to keep everyone safe.

“We have done a lot of work with school leaders to make sure that children are safe in their school and that the risk of the virus spreading is minimised. It would be a shame if this work was undone by parents and older relatives ignoring social distancing by gathering outside the school gates.”

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Headteachers have also raised concerns that parents are contacting schools asking them to confirm whether a member of the school has tested positive for coronavirus.

“We understand that some parents are anxious and want to protect their child but contacting a school asking for information about any individual in the current climate is inappropriate,” said Councillor Davies.

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“It would not be up to headteachers to inform parents about any potential coronavirus case within their school. This would be down to the Test, Trace, Protect programme which would trace the contacts of people who test positive to put a stop to the spread of coronavirus.”

Parents are also being reminded that if their child shows any symptoms to keep them at home.

“We are urging parents to err or the side of caution and don’t send their child to school. It would be reckless of parents to send their child to school who is showing symptoms as this would jeopardise the safety of pupils and staff at the whole schools,” said Councillor Davies.

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