AN overwhelming number of parents in the North-East and North Yorkshire will not be sending their child back to school on Monday, The Northern Echo has found.

Earlier this week, we asked our readers whether they would be allowing their child to go back, provided their school was reopening on June 1.

A poll that was conducted across Facebook, Twitter and on our website received more than 3,000 responses in less than 24 hours.

It found a staggering 80 percent – 2,422 people – said they would refuse to return their child to school while the remaining 20 percent – 602 people – said they would.

It comes as Durham County Council became the latest local authority to resist the government's original target for all schools in England to reopen to Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 pupils on Monday.

The council said a delayed reopening date of June 15 would be 'more realistic' as it had said there were 'concerns' outside of its control that had not yet been resolved.

'We're risking everything we've worked for'

But on social media, The Echo's readers were left divided with many saying they felt it was unsafe for children to return, and others suggesting all the correct measures will be in place.

Sarah Park, who said she had spent the last eleven weeks to 'keep' her children safe, said: "Personally I don't think there is any point sending them back and risking everything we've worked so hard for, especially for the sake of a few weeks before the summer holidays."

'My children are not guinea pigs'

Catherine Jacobs said her children were not 'guinea pigs' as remained reluctant to send her children back.

She said: "My children are not guinea pigs when the Houses of Parliament sit in there together, then I will send them back."

Meanwhile Debbie Wells suggested her daughter's school had kept her safe during the pandemic.

'Children get social distancing better than some adults'

She said: "I am a key worker and she's been at school since this started and she's been safe, happy and the teachers have been amazing and the children get social distancing better than some adults."

'Parents should be dealt with accordingly'

Meanwhile one reader, Julien Robinson, suggested that those who voted against the June 1 date should be marked as "absent" and parents "dealt with accordingly."

He said: "82 percent of not votes at present – all should go down as absent, and parents dealt with accordingly."

Under current rules no parent that refuses to send their child back to school during the coronavirus pandemic.

Guidance published last month, said it 'encouraged children and young people' to attend school, but said parents would not be fined for 'non-attendance.'

Secondary schools across the region are set to reopen next month on June 15.