Coronavirus: Children are safe, insists Boris Johnson as study points to school virus risk

insisted yesterday that schools can return safely if there is “discipline” about Covid-secure rules as ministers attempted to distance themselves from an official study that warned of higher risks for secondary pupils.

After research by Public Health England suggested that older pupils did catch from each other, the government said precautions already taken in schools assumed that children transmitted the virus like adults.

Preliminary findings from the study in more than 100 schools contradicted blanket assurances from government that it was safe for all pupils to return next month, with unions saying that “overhyped claims only serve to undermine trust and confidence”.

Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said: “It is frustrating that claims were made

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