A TEACHING union is continuing to urge its members to raise concerns about the safety of their school's plans to welcome back more pupils.

Days before the Government made a u-turn on a full reopening of primary schools before the summer, Cumbria NEU called on schools to delay opening to any more pupils as the coronavirus R value for the North West crept above 1, showing the epidemic could potentially still be growing.

Since then, the union said most schools have responded to its plea to reconsider their next steps.

Chris Brooksbank, Cumbria NEU secretary reported that the County Council has sent out more information to schools and that, in most cases schools, are planning a cautious approach to wider opening while others have put this on hold.

Last week pupils were transferred from hub schools as many school sites re-opened, with less than 10 per cent of their pupils - predominantly vulnerable children and those of key workers with some year six pupils - in attendance.

Mr Brooksbank highlighted that the NEU's own five tests for a further safe reopening of schools - outlined in order to create necessary confidence among patents and staff - are yet to be met by the Government and that "significant concerns" remained over testing, the track and trace programme and some schools' risk assessments.

"Where a cautious approach is not being adopted, we are still advising all members to inform their employers - headteachers and governors - that they have concerns about the plan to expand in school, if they believe it poses an unnecessary, serious and imminent danger to the pupils, their families, themselves and the wider community," he said.

"In the majority of cases, schools have taken a sensible and cautious approach, listening to, and communicating with, staff and parents. Many have provided training, listened to concerns and worked extremely hard to get pupils back in. We have some reports of excellent practice across the county.

"Every step towards welcoming pupils back remains a contentious and difficult decision, and we sincerely hope to have no more deaths amongst schools or communities. One secondary school reported five deaths in its families during the crisis."