Plan to open schools on 1 June in doubt as unions air safety fears

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Joint statement insists return will not happen until stringent ‘test and trace’ regime in place

Ministers’ plans to reopen schools as early as 1 June are in serious doubt after unions representing teachers and school staff insisted that they would not consider a return without a stringent coronavirus “test and trace” regime.

In an unusual joint statement, which one senior union official said indicated that an early return to a normal school timetable was “off the menu”, the Trades Union Congress said that there should be “no increase in pupil numbers until full rollout of a national test and trace scheme”, and called for the establishment of a Covid-19 taskforce with government, unions and others to agree on the safe reopening of schools.

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