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Another council says schools will not re-open on June 1

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Hartlepool Council has followed Liverpool City Council in saying it will not let schools partially re-open next month.

Schools in Hartlepool will not partially reopen next month

Another council has said its schools will remain shut on June 1 as local coronavirus cases continue to rise.

Last weekend the Prime Minister outlined plans to partially re-open schools for pupils in nursery, reception, and years one and six.

But Hartlepool Council said that will not happen in its borough, stressing it will be using caution.

In a statement, it said: “Given that coronavirus cases locally continue to rise, Hartlepool Borough Council has been working with schools and we have agreed they will not re-open on Monday 1st June.

“Whilst we recognise the importance of schools re-opening, we want to be absolutely clear that we will be taking a measured and cautious approach to this.

“We continue to work with schools to put in place appropriate measures to help keep children and staff safe when a phased re-opening is possible.”

The statement followed confirmation that in Liverpool, schools will only be open to vulnerable pupils and the children of key workers on June 1.

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Steve Reddy, director of children and young people’s services at Liverpool City Council, said on Friday he will write to all parents to tell them not to expect schools to re-open for everyone on June 1.

His letter states: “Some parents have asked me when schools may fully re-open. This will vary from school to school.

“Each headteacher has to rigorously assess the risks of fully re-opening for their particular school.”

The Labour leader of Gateshead Council Martin Gannon said on Friday that his council’s advice continued to be to “stay at home”.

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He said there was evidence that the rate of infection, measured through the R value, was greater than one in his borough.

And he said his views on the lockdown were echoed by his counterparts in Newcastle and Sunderland.

Mr Gannon told the BBC: “The national advice telling us the lockdown is over is frankly madness to Gateshead.”

NASUWT general secretary Dr Patrick Roach said the Government had not provided evidence that opening schools next month was safe.

“The Government must now publish the scientific evidence it is relying on to claim that it will be safe for children to return to school,” he said.

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