The head of a teaching union in Jersey has told ITV News she is confident sufficient measures will be in place to ensure a safe return for teachers and pupils when schools reopen on 8 June.

Marina Mauger of the NASUWT praised the work that is already being done on the health and safety aspects of the return, as well as the dialogue unions have had with government so far.

On Thursday, Jersey's Education Minister announced a phased return to school, initially for years six, ten and 12.

I think unions are feeling quite confident because we've done a significant amount of work with the Department, and set certain criteria that we felt had to be met, and the government has adhered to that. After having had briefings with Dr Ivan Muscat and Susan Turnbull last week I think we're as sure as we can be that this is the right time for the schools to return.

Marina Mauger, NASUWT Jersey Representative
Marina Mauger says parents should do what they thing is right for their children.

On the issue of parents still being reluctant to send their children to school she urged parents to do what is right for them and their children.

I really understand the concerns of parents, and I think they should act on their instincts really. They know their own child best and they'll know how such a changed environment will affect their child, and their own mental well-being as well.

Marina Mauger, NASUWT Jersey Representative

In Thursday's announcement, the Education Minister confirmed parents would not be sanctioned if they chose to keep their children at home.

Senator Tracey Vallois also said the situation would be reassessed two weeks after the initial return, and that consideration would be given to whether other year groups should also be allowed to go back to school at that point.

Marina Mauger said she thinks physical distancing rules will make it difficult to extend capacity much beyond what has already been proposed.

I think if there's been no spread of Covid from schools after that two weeks, then I think schools will be confident to take more children. But you have to bear in mind this physical distancing, two metres apart is going to make it very difficult for schools to accommodate significant amounts of children.

Marina Mauger, NASUWT Jersey Representative