Public health leaders in Cornwall are urging parents to think carefully about whether they need to send their children in to school.

Figures from the Department for Education show that almost four times the number of children are currently in school compared to the first lockdown in March last year.

The DfE survey showed that a total of 8,457 pupils attended schools in Cornwall on Monday (January 11) – equivalent to around 13.4 per cent of pupils from surveyed schools. In comparison the average total attendance in April was 1,200, or about 1.6 per cent.

Sally Hawken, cabinet member for children and public health, said: “I am extremely proud of our schools and how they have responded to the pandemic, juggling home learning and their in-school provision.

“The whole purpose of a lockdown is to slow down community spread of the virus, which is difficult to do when you have large numbers of children still attending schools.

“If your circumstances allow it, I ask that anyone deemed a critical worker negotiate what works for you with the school, so that your children aren't in every day.

“And if your children have difficulties learning from home, talk to your school so they can help resolve those issues.”


Guidance issued at the start of this national lockdown increased the number of people who qualified as ‘critical workers’, which has meant a growth in demand for places.

Councillor Hawken added: “Having children in school is good from a safeguarding point of view but given how much pressure they’re already under we can’t ask too much of them.

“I know home learning is not easy and I sympathise with every parent, but we are also working with schools to be realistic in their expectations of the level and kind of work.

“The number of confirmed cases of Covid is increasing in Cornwall and we all need to work together to slow that spread.”