Commenting on Should Schools Reopen?, the draft report of Independent SAGE, Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said:

“We have been pressing for publication of the science for many weeks, so we strongly welcome this important intervention from Independent SAGE on the critical issue of school safety during the Coronavirus pandemic.

“We would like to thank them for contributing so much to the public’s understanding of the risks involved in a wider opening of schools.

“Independent SAGE set two crucial conditions for the safe wider opening of schools: low levels of Coronavirus in the community, and a robust track and trace system. Today, Sir David King said in answer to a question from the NEU that the chances of those being met by June 1 are 'virtually nil'.

“The Government must finally relent on its arbitrary target date of June 1, and accept it is simply not yet safe for the wider opening. Schools and families cannot go on with such uncertainty.”