A mum has been threatened with PRISON after refusing to send her kids back to school amid fears she’ll die from Covid-19.
Katy Simpson, 29, chose to keep her son Damien and daughter Alisha, both six, at home when schools returned from the extended summer break last month.
While they are healthy, Katy has Type 1 diabetes, asthma and an under-active thyroid – which according to NHS guidelines classes her as clinically vulnerable.
Mum-of-two Katy has barely left the house since lockdown measures were first introduced in March, and claims she only makes a quick weekly dash to the shops.
She doesn’t want to increase her exposure to the virus, so has kept the kids home from Galileo Academy Trust, North Yorks.
Worried Katy claims she told staff her children would be remaining at home for the foreseeable future.
But she was visited by an education welfare officer earlier this week, who handed her court warning letter.
It says she faces a hefty £2,500 fine – and up to three months in prison – if she does not return her kids to school.
Under The Education Act 1996, parents can be found to be breaking the law if their child fails to regularly attend school and there is no “reasonable justification”.
The letter from the officer, who represents the school, said: “Missing school damages a pupil’s opportunity to achieve a good education. It reduces future life prospects, disrupts school routines and the learning of others.
“It can leave a pupil and the community vulnerable to anti-social behaviour and youth crime.
“I am particularly concerned that despite knowing the seriousness of the situation, you have (not only) failed to secure the regular attendance of your child in school (but you have also failed to attend meetings or engage with the assistance that has been offered to you).
“In light of this, I have no option but to begin prosecution procedures for the more serious offence under the Education Act 1996 contrary to Section 444 (1A).
“This offence means the courts, if they find you guilty, can fine you up to £2,500 and impose a prison sentence of up to three months.”
Unemployed Katy says she has no plans to return her son and daughter to school – despite the written warning – after her area went under tier two lockdown restrictions.
Katy, from Redcar, North Yorks., said: “There’s no two ways about it, if I get that virus I will die.
“I’m a single mum and don’t have my family around to help out with the kids. I can’t take that risk.
“When there’s cold or a flu about I always get it and I’m knocked for six.
“The virus has killed thousands of people and we’re all getting locked down again and it looks like it’s going to get worse.
“I’ve tried to explain to them but they just won’t listen.
“They tried to set up meetings for me to attend but it’s like it’s falling on deaf ears. I’m petrified of getting the virus, so I can’t leave the house.
“Even if other people took them to school, the amount of people they would be coming into contact with wouldn’t be safe.
“Damien has asthma too, so it’s not all about me.
“The Education Welfare Officer ended up standing on my doorstep to have the meeting, but it didn’t go very far.
“Now they are threatening me with going to court. I’m not sure I’ll be able to go as I’m just too scared.”