Union representatives have written to Sutton Council to outline teaching staffs concerns about the reopening of schools.

The National Union of Education's Sutton branch stated that schools cannot be made safe within the Government's time-frame, which would put the health of staff, students and the community at risk.

Concerns remain over the lack of a functioning test and trace strategy in the UK, an insufficient fall in coronavirus case numbers and the practicalities of social-distancing in the school environment.

Sutton NEU members with existing medical conditions, such as asthma and diabetes, say they are also concerned about their health.

A spokesperson for Sutton NEU said: "The NEU believes it is not yet safe to open schools to more children, a view which is supported by the Independent SAGE group of scientists.

"Some members do not know how they will have their children looked after safely while they are at school as their usual child care arrangements- sometimes involving vulnerable grandparents, are no longer available.

"Whilst the London Mayor is rightly urging the use of face masks in public places, staff in schools have been told they do not need to wear them.

"Some of our members will have to take long journeys on public transport to get to their schools: again, government advice is to avoid public transport."

A spokesperson for Sutton Council said: "The Council understands the concerns raised by the National Education Union.

"We have been working hard with schools and other settings to provide advice, guidance and support.

"The decision on opening any individual school or setting is ultimately one for their Governing Bodies and or Trust Boards.

"It is really important to our community that our schools are safe places.

"We recognise the real concerns raised and are providing help and guidance where we can to schools and other settings in navigating them and acknowledge that this is a challenging time for all involved.

"We offer schools and school leaders, their staff and all parents our support at this time."