A Lichfield headteacher has questioned whether the easing of some coronavirus restrictions should have led to more pupils being back in class.

Pubs and restaurants reopened for business over the weekend, while other measures – such as the two-metre social distancing rule and limits on the numbers of people meeting up – have also been eased.

The Government has outlined plans for a return to classes for all students in September.

But Matt Allman, headteacher of The Friary School, said in an update to parents that there were questions to be asked about the decision not to bring pupils back into schools sooner.

“It does seem odd to us that we can already go to the Bullring, to the pub or on an overseas holiday, and big groups of teenagers are meeting in the parks, but children cannot come to school.

“However, we are where we are, and having spoken to many parents I appreciate there are lots of different views on this.

“There is a lot of debate in the press about whether children should be in school and whether teachers actually want them in – I can assure you that there is not a single employee in our school who is not thoroughly sick of the lockdown and does not want as many children in as we are allowed to have.”

Matt Allman, The Friary School

The Government has said it has plans for a catch-up plan to help students who have missed out on months of education due to coronavirus.

But Mr Allman said the school was not banking on receiving any additional support.

“We have heard the promises of more funding, we have seen our usual Year 7 catch-up funding cut days after Boris’ announcement – probably to help fund the new idea – but we haven’t yet heard any firm details yet.

“It is not clear who will get the funds, how much per school, and if it applies to every child.

“To be frank, we are putting these promises to one side, and if anything positive materialises then great, but we’d rather plan our own interventions as we know that they will happen.”

Matt Allman, The Friary School


Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.

3 replies on “Lichfield headteacher questions decision not to bring more pupils back to school as coronavirus restrictions are eased”

  1. Mr Allman doesn’t appear to be the brightest student in the class.

    It might seem odd that children can gather in parks and the bullring but, I think you’ll find that in doing so, they’re not able to bring litigation against anyone or anything for becoming infected with COVID.

    As soon as they enter your school – you’re running a risk of that very thing. Are you happy to payout compensation for not effectively safeguarding a student who becomes infected with COVID whilst in school??

    Please think before speaking.

  2. Hi Harry,
    Perhaps it is worth reading the whole Parental Update, rather than the 6/50+ lines sampled in the article. Maybe you have, maybe to others the tone will come across a little different.
    The school has been open throughout the pandemic and is taking the increasing return very seriously amidst what are strange times and counter-balances for us all to get our heads around. I know the Head well and he will not mind me saying he is not the “brightest” but his senior staff are and they will be helping him. :-)
    If you get in touch with the school we will happily give you a tour and share with you all the measures we are putting in place.
    Take care.

  3. Matt Allman

    All I’m responding to is this:

    “It does seem odd to us that we can already go to the Bullring, to the pub or on an overseas holiday, and big groups of teenagers are meeting in the parks, but children cannot come to school.”

    It might seem odd to you but, the point I’m trying to make is that Staffs County will see the return to school as high risk – as they will be instructing their students to return, so any student who contracts the virus whilst in school COULD put blame the school. So schools are at a high risk of liability. Going to the park Is voluntary and infection bourne from that is the risk of the individual. Forcing students return to school – Some of whom may then catch COVID opens schools and County Council up to litigation.

    That’s all I’m saying.

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