A GOVERNMENT decision to not follow scientific advice on reopening schools has drawn the ire of an Oxfordshire MP.

Earlier today, the government released the advice provided to it by SAGE, the group of scientific experts suggesting how it should shape policies in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

SAGE had modelled nine different scenarios for how schools should reopen, but they did not include the current plan, which will see English primary school pupils in years 1 and 6 go back on June 1 at the earliest.

The scientists had recommended much more gradual classroom return instead.

Responding to the government’s release of the SAGE advice on school reopening, Oxford West and Abingdon MP, Layla Moran said: “The government at the eleventh hour have relented and released the scientific advice. Serious questions need to be asked about why it took so long for this to be made public. The delay has caused unnecessary stress to parents and teachers and left schools answering questions in the dark."

Ms Moran, who is the Liberal Democrat Education spokesperson, added: “The advice suggests that any reopening when the R rate is close to 1, which it may well be right now in some regions of the UK, risks causing a second peak. There are also concerns for BAME and older teachers - why has the Government ignored this in their guidance?"

She also criticised the education secretary, and said: “This whole sorry saga is a sad indictment on Gavin Williamson, his failure to listen, and his lack of control of his department during this crisis.”