Dr Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said: 

"Due to the nature of the conference environment, more than 1,500 delegates and guests from across the UK and further afield, in close quarters in an enclosed building for more than 4 days could create an elevated risk for a Coronavirus-spreading event. In turn this could have led to many education workers becoming ill or having to self-isolate.  

"Although this was a difficult decision to take, we hope by acting sooner rather than later the union will alleviate the concerns of delegates and their families."