Mum of triplets already back in school warns other parents what to expect

Scientific advisers and medical experts are urging mums and dads to forego their concerns and send their children back to school.

September is set to approach, with the threat of schools returning instilling a sense of anxiety and fear among some parents.

But for mums and dads, the choice should be straightforward, according to medical experts, who’ve told them they have nothing to worry about.

Dr Hilary Jones echoed the calls of Chris Whitty, England’s Chief Medical Officer, during today’s instalment of Good Morning Britain.

He told mums and dads how scientific experts were all in agreement – and the risk of children catching Covid-19 upon returning to school is incredibly low.

Indeed, some reckon the negatives of missing school time outweigh the potential ramifications of catching Covid-19.

So, how have parents of children who have already returned coped? Julie McCaffrey’s 11-year-old triplets have started high school in Perthshire, Scotland.

She told the Mirror: “Perhaps it was the safety measures painstakingly put into place by the Scottish Government at my daughters’ school that banished my worries about them returning.

“But I suspect having peace for the first time in five months also made me punch the air when they set off for their first day of classes since March.

“My 11-year-old triplets Lily, Clara and Elise are well aware of the deadly seriousness of Covid-19 after many tears during the long lockdown separation from their grandparents.”

She continued: But they sprinted off, without a backwards glance to start their new high school.

“Things are very different, of course. Alongside their pristine pencil cases and scientific calculators, they have masks and hand sanitisers in their school bags.

“But to kids deprived of the company of classmates for so long, they’re small inconveniences. In their excited minds, precautionary measures are positive changes.

“Take the uniform re-think, for instance. All summer, we’ve had blazing rows about my girls obstinate refusal to wear their blazers.

“No amount of cajoling – “but you suit purple. And blazers have so many really cool secret pockets for pens” – could convince them.

“Then news came from school that blazers were banned for the first term because they couldn’t be laundered daily and carried a small risk of cross-infection. Same goes for ties.

“Round one to my girls.”

She added: “Lily has a sartorial style that can be described as casual in the extreme. She had insisted on wearing her favourite paint-splattered denim dungarees to her primary school prom before it was Covid-cancelled.

“So when further news came that girls should wear black leggings or joggers to school to remove the need to change for PE, she thumbed her nose at me.

“Two nil to the triplets.

“Our annual shoe-shopping row has blighted every summer holiday since the beginning of primary school.

“I want my girls to wear formal, leather school shoes, while they loudly protest that they are the ONLY ones in the WHOLE SCHOOL not wearing trainers.

“This year my girls begged to be put up for adoption rather than wear mum-approved shoes.

“Then news came from the school that all-black trainers should be worn so pupils can seamlessly skip from class to gym.

“The kids win again.”

She added: “The staggered start saw only first years in the school building on day one, leaving the dining hall to themselves and safe from having their sandwiches swiped by sixth years.

“Trips to the nearby deli to buy a slice of pizza at lunchtime are now forbidden.

“To cut down on children charging through corridors, their timetables have been re-worked.

“Morning registration has been abandoned and they do three two-hour lessons each day instead of seven different subjects. It means more time to finish assignments and less homework.

“Sanitising hands and wiping surfaces at the start and end of lessons keeps kids and classrooms safer – and smelling fresher.

“And my girls don’t even mind the teachers being behind screens at the front of class. “It means they can’t see us passing notes at the back of the class,” giggled Clara.

““And it’s nice not having teachers peering over our jotters while we’re working,” agreed Elise.

So when the majority of our English, Welsh and Irish cousins return to school next month, I hope you all feel as safe and reassured as we do.

And I hope you enjoy the sound of the school bell – and the peace in the house – as much as I do.”