Parents' worries over return to school as siblings face being split up and children wish to hug their teachers

Parents have shared their concerns about sending their children back to school after lockdown.

Thursday, 21st May 2020, 5:42 pm
Updated Thursday, 21st May 2020, 5:42 pm

Families who were enjoying the sunshine at Seaburn on Thursday spoke of their worried ahead of classes starting again next month.

Brian Twidale, 52, and wife Claire, 39, had travelled from Hartlepool to keep sons Bradley, 17, and 11-year-old Josh safe: “We have been to Seaton Carew, but everyone there is ignoring social distancing,” said Brian.

“I don’t really want them to go back,” he added.

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Iain and Sarah Murray with Henry, Penelope and Felicity

“I would like to see the Houses of Parliament return first before the kids go back.

“Bradley goes to a special school and they have been absolutely brilliant – they have left it up to us.”

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Sarah and Iain Murray, from East Boldon, were at the seafront with eight-year-old Henry, six-year-old Penelope and Felicity, three.

Brian and Claire Twidale with Bradley and Josh

The children attend East Boldon Infants, Juniors and Nursery. At the moment only Penelope’s year has been invited to return and the couple are reluctant to break the siblings up.

“All three want to go back but I don’t want to separate them,” said Sarah.

“Penelope has said she is looking forward to hugging her teacher, hugging her friends and playing with all the toys – I suspect there will be no toys and no hugging.

“It will be totally different.”

Lindsey Robson with Ben and Danny

Lindsey Robson, who was out with sons Ben, nine, and three-year-old Danny, is a teacher herself and explained the challenges the school was facing in inviting even a limited number of children back.

“How on Earth are you going to socially distance reception children?” she asked.

“We are going top open all 16 classrooms, so there should only be about nine children to a classroom. We are giving each child a tray with everything they need, but reception age children aren’t used to sitting still,” said Lindsey,43, from South Shields.

Lauren and Tony Lonsdale with Lucas and Leo

Tony and Lauren Lonsdale’s children, Lucas, nine, and Leo, six, go to Mill Hill Primary.

Leo has been invited back, but the couple aren’t keen: “It will not be the same environment he had before,” said Lauren, 39, from Hall Farm.

“They are going to use two classrooms, so he won’t necessarily be with his classmates,” added 45-year-old Tony.

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