Merton Council says schools in the borough will reopen more widely when they feel it is safe to do so.

More than two dozen councils across England have urged for caution in face of the Government's June 1 target, which would see reception, year one and year six pupils brought back.

The Council has said Merton schools will be reopening at their own pace and that "schools are taking different decisions based on their particular situation."

Merton also said, "Whether or not schools and early years providers open more widely from 1 June onwards, they will continue to offer places for vulnerable children and those of key workers."

Wimbledon Times: Merton Council issue full statement on the reopening of schools on June 1Merton Council issue full statement on the reopening of schools on June 1

Councillor Eleanor Stringer, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services and Education, said: "It’s half term this week, yet many schools are busy.

"Some are still open for the children of critical workers and vulnerable pupils, where the numbers attending have been rising steadily over the past few weeks.

"Other schools are not open to pupils this week but are spending time preparing for an opening for larger numbers of children from next week at the earliest.

"Schools have been working out how they can welcome more children safely, and council officers have been supporting them to understand and apply public health guidance.

"Some schools are taking extra time to train staff and prepare classrooms; others feel able to open more quickly, but perhaps only with one year group to start with.

"We await final confirmation, of course, in the statement expected from the government this Thursday.

"In the meantime, I would personally like to thank schools for the extraordinary efforts they have put into dealing with the pandemic.

"I’d also like to thank our families for coping with the challenges of home education.

"We trust that families will continue to make decisions for their own wellbeing."

Parents should contact their school or setting directly for more information about their phased re-opening.