Joe Anderson issues update on when schools will reopen

Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson has said that it is "highly likely" that school openings in Liverpool will be further delayed due to the high R value in the North West.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson had urged primary schools to open their doors to all pupils in Reception, Year 1, and Year 6 on June 1, however Mayor Anderson led the opposition from some local authorities alongside teaching unions.

On Sunday evening, Mayor Anderson issued an update on when schools across the city will reopen to more students.

In his latest statement addressing school closures, Mayor Anderson said that no further school openings were planned for next week citing the high regional R value.

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He said that Liverpool City Council will continue to monitor the situation and in tandem with Public Health England.

On his Twitter account, Mayor Anderson shared a statement, saying that "several people" had been in touch asking about schools.

The statement said: "I have been very clear that opening schools in Liverpool is an issue of public health and safety for children, staff and parents. Nothing has changed.

"Liverpool City Council, working with our school leaders already have a clear plan- schools are currently only to open to the children of key workers and vulnerable children.

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"No further school opening is planned next week and the latest regional R value analysis suggests that it is highly likely that further school opening will be delayed.

"We will continue to keep an eye on the situation and work with Public Health, schools and trade unions. If you have children you will be updated by your headteacher.

"Until then, I urge everyone to remember to stay alert and help stop the spread of this disease.

"Stay Alert. Stay Safe, and Stay Home."

The announcement comes after schools in Wirral were told that the council would support plans to pause the reopening of its schools, as many had planned to reopen tomorrow.

On Friday evening, Wirral Council issued guidance to schools in light of new information about the R value in the North West.

The guidance stated that the Council had approached the Department for Education for a response and are awaiting a response from the Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson.

Cllr Tom Usher, Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Education, pointed out that one of the government's criteria for re-opening schools was that R was below 1, which is undermined by these new reports.

Cllr Usher said: "The safety of our children and of our staff has always been our priority.

"Even before the new R value figures published today, we supported schools who deemed they should open later than the 1st, and many have chosen to do so with our support.

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"Given the updated R value, one of the conditions for reopening has not been met, so we are asking schools to pause and consider this.

"Many residents are concerned and I'm appreciative of the unions who are raising the valid concerns of school staff as well.

"We are doing this to assure people that safety to us is paramount. It is now up to the government to provide clarity."