On average 5% of children to return to schools and early learning centres under Alert Level 3

On average, five per cent of children will be returning to schools and early learning centres under Alert Level 3, according to the Education Minister.

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A leading epidemiologist says it's safe for kids to go back. Source: 1 NEWS

Education Minister Chris Hipkins said he’s “heartened” by the numbers being reported in surveys of whanau’s intentions during Alert Level 3.

“It’s a good sign… they’re doing what we asked them to do,” he said.

The partial reopening of schools and early learning centres is for children up to Year 10 that cannot continue learning at home as some parents return to work.

Surveys show 39,500 children are expected to return, with 12,500 returning to early learning centres and 27,000 students expected to return to school, Mr Hipkins said.

There are more than 816,000 students in New Zealand’s education system.

Mr Hipkins said some students will join a bubble in another local school, if their school has a very low number of children expected to return.

He said he is confident in the health and safety protocols created for the education sector, with “really good protection” offered for the low number of students expected to return.

Schools are set to receive 30,000 litres of sanitiser, which is being dispatched at the moment.