Speaking about the TUC's joint statement outlining the measures needed for the safe reopening of schools, sent to the Secretary of State for Education on behalf of unions with members in the education sector, Unite national officer Jim Kennedy said: “As the Prime Minister moves impatiently to a premature easing of the lockdown, it is essential we have in place the safeguards that protect our workers and communities. 

“The public support for our essential workers across the public sector has shown that they will not accept another botched process, Boris Johnson has been exposed for his, and the government’s, catastrophic handling of this crisis and I sure we are all fed up to the back teeth with his jingoistic language as some sort of elixir to the daily tragedies our communities are suffering.

“Our school support staff, teachers, pupils, parents and relatives are rightly concerned and alarmed at the thought of a hasty programme to reopen our schools, therefore the school support staff unions including Unite, teaching unions and the TUC have set out the key principles and tests that must be met before that can happen. 

“We know what a fantastic job our teachers and support staff have done in caring and educating the pupils of our essential workers, they have done so at great risk to themselves and their families, we must now ensure that the key tests contained within the trade union joint statement are fully applied, nothing less is acceptable. 

“Just a few shorts days ago we marked International Workers Memorial Day where we stated that we will remember the dead and fight for the living, Unite is committed to fulfilling that pledge."