Commenting on the list of key workers whose children will be prioritised during the period of school closures, Dr Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said:

“This is a very long list and could result in some schools having the majority of pupils attending. This will not achieve the goal of slowing the spread of the virus. So it is vitally important that parents follow Government advice to keep their children at home, wherever possible.

Schools can only accommodate a limited number of children and the fewer children making the journey to school, and the fewer children in educational settings, the lower the risk that the virus can spread.”