19/05/2020 15:44 BST | Updated 19/05/2020 15:55 BST

Tory-led Solihull Council Announces Its Schools May Not Be Ready To Reopen On June 1

The West Midlands council is the first Conservative-run local authority to question the proposed start date for schools.

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Conservative-led Solihull Council has announced its schools may not be ready in time for the government’s proposed phased reopening date of June 1.

It is believed to be the first Tory council to question the proposed start date.

Leader of the council, Ian Courts, said: “The government has the ambition of a June 1 return, but the reality in Solihull is that schools will need to use that first week in June to ensure they are completely ready for more pupils to attend.

“So places may only be available from the week beginning June 8.”

Students wearing face masks and social distancing, at a primary school in Brussels on Monday 

Meanwhile, Labour-run Calderdale Council in West Yorkshire has also advised its schools against reopening on June 1 amid safety concerns, following the lead of Liverpool, Hartlepool and Bury.

Calderdale leader councillor Tim Swift said: “Education plays a crucial role in making sure children have a good start in life, laying the foundations so that they are able to enjoy a long, healthy and fulfilling future.

“However, the council has major concerns that the government’s tests are not currently being met within Calderdale, and for this reason we are advising our schools against opening more widely on June 1.”

Deborah Harkins, director of public health at Calderdale Council, said: “More children should only return to school when we are confident that it is safe, we should not put them, their families and our communities at risk.

“The current evidence within Calderdale indicates three of the government’s five tests are not met and unfortunately we are not assured that this will change before June 1. This means that we cannot advise our local schools that it will be safe to reopen yet.”