All school children across the Isle of Wight will return to the classroom from Monday 8th March, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed this afternoon (Monday).

Despite calls for a staggered approach, it has been announced that all children across all year groups will return in just 2 weeks’ time following weeks of homeschooling. Most children haven’t received face-to-face learning since before Christmas.

However, secondary school children will be forced to wear face masks not only in the corridors but also in the classroom. Previously, headteachers had some discretion over the use of face coverings but it will now be a compulsory part of everyday school life.

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Some parents, teachers and unions are concerned about children going back to school due to the risk of transmission to teachers, staff and families at home, but the Government has said the priority is getting children back to full-time education.

It is against the law not to send your child to school, unless they are ill or if you have received permission from the school. Parents can be fined £60, increasing to £120 if not paid within 21 days. Persistent offenders can be jailed for 3 months.

The news will be welcomed by many who have had to play the role of parent and teacher, or juggling childcare arrangements.

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