Katy Balls

New polling: where do parents stand on schools reopening?

New polling: where do parents stand on schools reopening?
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As the coronavirus threat level moves from four to three, Boris Johnson has declared today that he is 'sure' all children will be able to be back in school full-time from September. Speaking at the daily press conference, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson repeated this pledge.

But should Johnson hit his target, will parents comply? So far of the year groups allowed to return to school, there have been mixed results when it comes to the level of uptake. New polling for Coffee House, carried out on Thursday by Redfield & Wilton Strategies of a sample of 2,000, points at the problems ahead in convincing parents to send their children back.

Forty-eight per cent of those surveyed think it was not safe for schools to partially reopen on the 1st of June, while 36 per cent thinks it was safe. Among those currently not sending their children to school, 54 per cent would not send them in even if their child’s school reopened this summer with the appropriate measures, while 46 per cent would send them in if the school reopened.

However, when it comes to school returning after the summer holidays, a majority agree that all schools should be open for all students in September even if not all schools can enforce social-distancing measures – 54 per cent agree and 22 per cent disagree.

As for the reopening of pubs as mooted in early July, while 47 per cent support the measure only 23 per cent said they would visit the pub within the first week of reopening. The polling appears to confirm fears in government that convincing people it's safe to resume aspects of normal life will be one of the biggest challenges in easing the lockdown.

Written byKaty Balls

Katy Balls is The Spectator's deputy political editor. She is also a columnist for the i paper.

Topics in this articlePolitics