Shielding mother ‘has no choice’ but to send daughter back to school
A woman who has been shielding with an immune system disorder says she feels she has “no choice” but to send her daughter back to school despite fears she will bring coronavirus home.
Jennifer East, from Clacton-on-Sea in Essex, has common variable immunodeficiency, which leaves her vulnerable to the effects of Covid-19.
She feels it is “really not safe” for her 11-year-old Tayla to “open the bubble” when she starts secondary school on Friday.
“I feel like I have no choice. Like the Government are saying I have to do it or get fined,” Ms East told the PA news agency.
The Government has faced calls to scrap fines for parents who do not send their children back due to fears over the virus.
The Department for Education insisted it was safe for children to return and said fines would only be used as a “last resort”.
However, Ms East said: “It’s really not safe, I personally feel, at the moment. I have common variable immunodeficiency so we at home have been in our own bubble for six months. Now we have to open the bubble to a load of schoolchildren too.”
Her daughter will be wearing a mask in classes and private transport arrangements have been made by her school.
Ms East added: “They are doing this because of my condition. They will try and help me as much as possible, but I have said that if I feel it’s not working, or think the risk is too high, I will be taking her out of school again. I will just have to face the consequences if that happens.”
A teacher from the Thames Valley, who wanted to remain anonymous, also told PA he is “nervous” about sending his two children back to school because his wife is part of the shielding category.
He said: “We are very nervous about what this will mean for my wife, but also convinced that, for purely mental health reasons, that the children will need to get back to seeing their peers,” he told PA.
“We haven’t been given any information from the Government since being told shielding was being suspended last month. We don’t feel that a lot has changed about the nature of the virus to suddenly make this safe.
“Given that schools were shut in late March we are sceptical of the Government’s assertion that children don’t pass Covid-19 on.”