The following press release is from the National Education Union.

These are unprecedented times. As 2021 dawns, the pandemic is worsening hour by hour. The new variant of Covid-19 means the virus is spreading through our communities at an alarming rate.

Infection rates are at their highest since March and our health service is struggling to cope with a tidal wave of new cases. Ambulances are queuing outside hospitals in the worst-affected areas, with patients being treated in car parks and some hospitals having to transfer intensive care Covid patients hundreds of miles to receive the care they need.

In light of this growing crisis, the National Education Union (NEU) has called an emergency meeting of our union’s executive, which will take place tomorrow.

After the meeting, we will be issuing new and urgent advice regarding the proposed opening of primary schools on 4 January.

It is vital that you keep an eye on social media and your email inbox as our new advice will impact on staff returning to school on Monday.

To explain this advice in greater detail, we are holding an emergency all-member Zoom call on Sunday, 3 January.

We are education professionals and we all want schools to be open for all pupils. But urgent action is needed to protect our communities and make schools safe.

Please keep an eye out for further information on social media and via your email inbox.