PARENTS have welcomed the news that they will not be fined if they choose to keep their children at home once schools reopen over coronavirus fears.

Primary schoolchildren in reception, year 1 and year 6 will be the first students to return from next month, as the government slowly lifts the country’s lockdown restrictions.

Schools have been told to prepare for the year groups to return to school from June 1, at the earliest, under the Government’s new plans.

Worcester mum, Jemma Thompson, said she is delighted that parents will not be fined if they decide not to send their child back immediately.

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Miss Thompson, whose five-year-old son Ollie attends North Worcester Primary Academy, said: “I am over the moon that parents won’t be fined if they choose not to immediately send their children back when the schools reopen.

“Each parent has their own thoughts towards what they want to do, so it’s fantastic parents are given an opportunity to take the lead on this decision and can digest the information of what phase of the virus we will be in when the schools open and can make choices that are best for them and their family.”

She added: “For me being given the opportunity to make that decision personally it eases a lot of anxiety.”

Following Boris Johnson’s speech on Sunday when he announced schools will begin opening, Miss Thompson sent a question to parliament via the government website the following day to ask if parents would be fined or prosecuted if they don’t send their child back if they feel it’s not safe to do so.

She said: “I think it was asked by a lot of parents as it was then announced we wouldn’t be that afternoon.”

Before the announcement that parents will not be “penalised” for keeping children out of school after lockdown, there were concerns over sending them back as they feared they will not be protected against Covid-19.

Worcester News reader Kirsteen Borthwick said: “Parents have to be allowed to take the lead on this, what some may be comfortable with others might not.”

Another reader Kells Trevis said: “I refuse to send my lad back to school until September.”

Diane Saywer said: “I don’t blame any parent who decides not to send their child back. Not fair on the child or the family. I know if it was me I would be a bag of nerves every day he was there.”