THE Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) in West Yorkshire says it is offering its "full support" to unions calling for schools to remain closed tomorrow.

The TUSC has backed the calls from four teacher unions - which have come amid concerns over the spread of coronavirus - and has argued that schools staying shut is the "only way" to protect them from being a "ground zero for a new explosion of COVID".

Similar calls were made earlier by Shipley Green Party councillor Kevin Warnes, who argued it would be "irresponsible" for schools to re-open tomorrow as planned, given the current rates of the virus.

Iain Dalton, TUSC West Yorkshire Convenor, said: “The TUSC gives its full support for the NEU’s call to close primary and special needs schools.

"With most of the country in Tier 3 or 4, and two new highly contagious variants of COVID on the loose, it is vital that action is taken to stop transmission in sites of serious risk like schools.

“Proper risk assessments and measures agreed democratically by education workers and their unions should be put in place, so that the vulnerable children and those of key workers can be taught safely in schools.

"Parents should suffer no loss in pay for needing to look after children who are home learning as a result of these measures.

"With Keir Starmer’s ‘new leadership’ of the Labour Party having opposed the demands of education unions over school safety throughout the crisis, backing the Tory government under Boris Johnson at each step, this yet again highlights the vital need for trade unionists and workers to have their own independent political voice, which the TUSC is helping to create.”