WEAVER Vale MP Mike Amesbury has urged the government to put safety first and listen to the professionals when it comes to the planned re-opening of schools.

Concerns have been raised by education unions, teachers and health professionals about whether adequate social distancing can be maintained when some children return over the next few weeks.

The Runcorn MP said: “I’ve received a lot of correspondence from concerned parents about this in recent weeks. Everyone wants to see their child receiving the kind of education only teaching professionals can provide.

“More broadly, there is also sadly the issue of some children in our communities who are vulnerable and depend on school for the very basics such as meals and safeguarding.

“But for children to go back to school safely and for parents to have confidence and reassurance it’s essential that the correct social distancing measures are in place.”

He added that the government needed to urgently work with schools, councils and education unions so that every school can implement a workable plan to ensure a safe return and that he would continue to lobby ministers on the issue.