A mum has spoken of her frustration after Boris Johnson’s last minute U-turn on school closures, meant her son was in class long enough to be in contact with someone with covid.
Lindsay Roberts hesitated about sending her 10-year-old Huw back to Greatham Primary School after the Christmas break, but she opted to follow Government advice, and him in on Monday.
Just hours later the Prime Minister confirmed the nation would be plunged into a third lockdown – with all primary schools, secondary schools and colleges moving to remote.
But as the mum of two was getting to grips with homeschooling, she received a further blow that Huw would have to self-isolate after a child in his class had tested positive for coronavirus.
The 43-year-old said: “After Christmas, I knew my child in senior school wasn’t going back but my youngest was. I was pleased to get back to some sort of normality.
“To be honest, I was dreading having two of them at home for logistical reasons and I was concerned about the time it would take to homeschool two children and we didn’t have enough devices.
“With all the talk on Sunday evening about the schools closing I was waiting for it to be cancelled but it wasn’t.
“I really thought should I be sending him to school and then I hesitated about sending him as I feared this might happen.
“I didn’t want to overrule the whole area and decided I should do what is best for my child.”
Lindsay received a message from the school on Wednesday to say her youngest son must self-isolate for 10 days.
But the news had devastating consequences for the whole family.
The self-employed baker added: “It now means we can’t see my parents who are shielding who we have been in childcare bubble with over Christmas.
“They both have cancer and I am their lifeline to the outside world.
“I wish I’d listened to my gut feeling and made him miss a day but I was trying to be a responsible parent and follow the rules putting my faith in our Government.”
The family, who lives in Hartlepool, had hoped to enjoy walks outside when they had finished school and work during the lockdown.
Lindsay said she had planned to get Huw and Oz, 12, out every day for a walk and start a new year exercise routine this year.
Speaking about the first lockdown, Lindsay said she struggled with home schooling as she had just had an operation in February.
“Home schooling didn’t really happen last year as I’d just had an operation and was on the back foot,” she said.
“I’m self-employed and we were also moving house so the house was all packed up. In the first few months it wasn’t really a priority and I didn’t want to let them suffer again this time.”
The mum-of-two said both schools have been “really efficient” and she has been impressed with their adapted learning.
Lindsay said Greatham Primary School has provided a laptop to help her 10-year-old son complete work.