Schools expect half of pupils will stay home as year groups return

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Many parents sceptical about return of reception, year 1 and year 6 in England during coronavirus crisis

A million children in England – half of those who are expected to return when their classes reopen – are likely to stay at home on Monday rather than go back to school, as many parents, councils and teachers remain sceptical of the government’s assurances over their safety.

Boris Johnson’s government has invested considerable political capital in opening classrooms to primary school pupils in three year groups – reception, year 1 and year 6 – leading to warnings by independent scientists that it is too soon to reopen while transmission and infection rates remain so high.

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