School head backs decision to keep kids in class during Lockdown

  • Watch Charlie Frost's report on Schools in Lockdown

There is one major difference with the new national lockdown that got underway today - school's will stay open.

Many of the children we spoke to at the Birchwood High School in Bishop's Stortford were happy with the news:

School children welcomed the decision to keep classes open Credit: ITV News Anglia

" It’s really important that we carry on our education and even though we can do that at home it’s not the same when you do feel like you’ve missed bits or you haven’t fully learnt it.""I’ve just got used to it again so I think I should keep the schools opened."They could’ve shut schools again and it’s not good I prefer to stay here because I feel really safe here"

But there is mounting pressure for schools to close. The National Education Union believes all students should be at home. Adding ignoring the role of schools and colleges in the spread of the virus is likely to lead to the need for even longer lockdowns in future.

And nearly 400,000 people agree, signing an online petition calling to shut schools due to the increase in COVID-19 cases. 

Kerrie Sandford with her kids

Kerrie Sandford is a mum of two in Lakenheath. She decided not to send her children back when schools reopened in September continuing to home school them instead. 

If they were to go to school and bring the virus home, because that we are both self-employed we would be off and would lose our income instantly and risk losing the house and everything else.

Kerrie Sandford

It's now compulsory for children and staff to wear masks in communal areas at school

Something they'd been doing at Birchwood High in Bishop's Stortford since September, alongside one way systems and year bubbles

Since September we have had four cases actually that triggered around 60 students needing to self isolate but there is no evidence that a student has transmitted the virus to another student so all of those 60 students are now coming back and I’m not be very keen on the momentum that we gathered being stopped over the next three or four weeks

Dr Chris Ingate, Principal Birchwood High School