More than 200 parents across Cambridgeshire have signed a letter urging the county council not to reopen schools on June 1 - saying government guidance is “contradictory, impractical and compromises safety”.

Parents in Cambridgeshire sign letter urging county council not to reopen schools on June 1. Photo: Jacob King/PA WireParents in Cambridgeshire sign letter urging county council not to reopen schools on June 1. Photo: Jacob King/PA Wire

The open letter on May 25 sent to Councillor Simon Bywater, chair of children’s and young people committee, raises concerns about the “safety and protection of children”.

It is also refers to the report issued by senior scientists at the Independent Sage committee, which warned that June 1 was too soon for schools to reopen safely in England.

Tom Woodcock, a year 7 parent who signed the letter, said the government “risks the efforts of lockdown so far” by reopening schools too soon.

He said: “Our kids desperately need to reconnect with schooling but I am in favour of the Independent Sage group suggestion of a program of, outdoor focus summer schooling with an emphasis on social and physical development, in a manner that can be properly risk assessed.

“We need a whole community approach to helping our children into the next phase of fighting this virus, one that responds to local needs and uses the available resources.”

The letter states: “No one more than parents want to see schoolchildren happily reunited with teachers and classmates.

“But we believe the government’s guidance about how to do this is contradictory, impractical and compromises safety.

“Young children learn through experience and grow through socialisation, and the government knows that social distancing for three to six-year-olds is impossible.

“...We are going to be sending our children back into an environment they no longer recognise and are likely to find strange and upsetting.”

“We do not think that the government should be posing this level of risk to our society.”

Jonathan Lewis, service director for education at Cambridgeshire County Council, assured parents last week that children will only return to school when “scientific evidence is clear that is safe to do so”.

He said: “I know this is a concerning and uncertain time, but I want to reassure them that our schools are putting pupils first and doing the right thing.”

A government update is expected on Thursday (May 28).

- Last week the results of our poll on when children should return to school sparked a discussion on The Hunts Post, view it here: