Liverpool today became the first English city to refuse to return children to school next month as the Government faced a growing row over its plan to restart lessons. The Merseyside port’s council confirmed that from June 1 only the children of key workers and those deemed vulnerable would be allowed to attend – as they are now. The local authority rejected ministers plans to restart lessons for some primary age groups before the summer. The Government is facing stiff opposition from teachers unions and opposition politicians who oppose the reopening on safety grounds. Health Secretary Matt Hancock defended the Government’s plans at the daily press conference this evening, saying; ’I wouldn’t support a proposal to start to reopen schools unless it was safe to do so – and it is safe to do so.’ Union leaders met the Government’s scientific advisers this afternoon, but speaking afterwards Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the National Education Union (NEU), said it left many of their questions unanswered. Earlier this week Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson branded the Government plan ‘reckless’ and this afternoon Steve Reddy, the city’s director of children and young people’s services, said he was writing to all parents to tell them not to expect… Read full this story
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