THE Government’s decision to reopen schools in phases from the beginning of June has not been a popular one in many quarters.

Parents, teachers, teaching unions and even pupils themselves have spoken to the Hexham Courant this week to relay their deep concerns about children returning to education when most other industries continue to adopt a ‘stay at home’ policy.

Heartbreaking images shared from schools in France which have adopted a similar phased scheme have shown how children have been segregated in the playground to keep their distance from their best mates, not being able to play football or tag, etc.

Children in nurseries, Reception and Year 1 are expected to fully comprehend that they cannot give their friends who they have missed dearly for the past eight weeks a big welcome back hug.

It is no wonder parents and teachers are demanding more assurances about the safety of the pupils before they consider sending their children back among large groups.

It is perhaps somewhat telling that, of the 1,000 voters on a Courant poll on Facebook, 81 per cent do not agree with the decision to reopen schools for Reception, Year One and Year Six pupils.