A dad has raised social distancing concerns with a school after taking a photograph of dozens of children congregating outside the gates.
John Parkinson was dropping off his son at the Excel Academy, in Sneyd Green, when he spotted a large of around 30 students gathered outside.
He says none of the youngsters wore face coverings and some were even hugging each other on the day schools fully-reopened on Monday (March 8).
While John is not blaming the children, he believes teachers should be doing more to remind them of the rules.
"We’ve been having emails and messages off the school telling us they have got all these guidelines in place and social distancing is going to be very important," John told StokeonTrentLive.
"But the kids were hugging and messing around as they do. There were five teachers about 10 feet away talking and having a laugh with each other.
"They weren’t encouraging the children to move or go to class. They stood there and let it happen.
"I rang the school to raise my concerns and the response was that they can’t enforce distancing and face coverings outside the gates.
"For the last few weeks, they’ve been saying we need to do this to keep the kids safe and try to reduce any infection and now they are saying they can’t make them do it. It’s ridiculous and not on."
The 42-year-old, from Sneyd Green, has had family members who have tested positive for Covid-19 and is concerned about the risks of schools playing a part in transmission.
He added: "I was quite angry because, after everything they have told us they have put in place, it’s the first day the kids go back and that happens.
"The damage is already done in my eyes.
"I'm also concerned parents aren’t relaying to children how important it is not to gather outside school gates when you get there. If you see more than two or three people gathered around you then move away.
"What’s going to happen is infections are going up because children could be passing it on to parents and vice versa. I know children don’t really suffer but when they take it into their homes, others might.
"There should be no congregating outside the school gates. A lot of people have been affected by this and it’s playing on their mental health.
"I’m worried about my child’s safety because the rules aren’t being enforced."
Alpha Academies Trust, which runs the Excel Academy, today moved to reassure parents.
A spokesman said: "As part of the Alpha Academies Trust, the Excel Academy continues to have a robust Covid risk assessment in place which is evaluated regularly and updated appropriately with guidance from Public Health England.
"In line with these procedures, students returning to on-site teaching have done so with a staggered start to their day within their class and year-group bubble."
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