WEST Yorkshire Association of Trades Union Councils has pledged its support for teaching and other public sector unions’ demands that schools must only reopen when it is safe.

It said that schools should only reopen when The National Education Union’s five tests for safely reopening schools can be satisfied in the interests of workers’ and school students’ health and safety.

Pete Keal, secretary of WYATUC, said: “Many teachers, parents and pupils are scared to return to school. With the COVID-19 daily death rate still in the hundreds, the new infection rate remaining higher than at the beginning of the lockdown and the high number of Covid-19 confirmed cases in Yorkshire and the Humber, this is not the time to reopen our schools.

"This view is supported by a number of West Yorkshire’s Local Education Authorities."

"The Government must satisfy the NEU’s five tests through providing reliable evidence, peer-reviewed science and transparent decision-making.”

WYATUC also supports the wider trades union movement demand that there should be 'No Return To Work Unless It’s Safe' and has released its first poster supporting this call.

The National Education Union’s five tests for safely reopening schools call for:

• much lower numbers of new Covid-19 cases

• a national plan for social distancing

• comprehensive access to regular testing for children and staff

• arrangements to test a whole school or college when a case occurs with isolation being strictly followed, and

• protection for vulnerable staff, and staff who live with vulnerable people.