Schools in Liverpool will not reopen to all pupils after the city's mayor raised safety fears over children going back into classes.

Only the children of key workers and vulnerable children will be allowed in school from June 1, the city council confirmed on Friday.

Mayor Joe Anderson earlier this week said he was "minded to resist" Prime Minister Boris Johnson's suggested June 1 partial reopening date, because of safeguarding concerns.

The city and wider region has seen some of the UK's highest infection rates for coronavirus, well above the England average.

Instead, the Labour-run local authority said schools reopening will be staggered, with all pupils only allowed in when headteachers, governing bodies, council officials and unions are satisfied it is safe to do so.

They have been working together to discuss school layout, which is different in each establishment, social distancing and hygiene arrangements, which could not be done within the Government timetable, the council said.

Liverpool Town Hall Credit:

Steve Reddy, director of Children and Young People's Services at Liverpool City Council, said on Friday he is writing to all parents to tell them not to expect schools to reopen for everyone on June 1.

In the letter Mr Reddy said: "Our guiding principle is that schools can only reopen to other pupils when it is safe to do so and not a moment before."

"Some parents have asked me when schools may fully reopen. This will vary from school to school. Each headteacher has to rigorously assess the risks of fully reopening for their particular school.

Steve Reddy, director of Children and Young People's Services at Liverpool City Council

He added: "The Government has made it clear they will not be fining parents for not sending children into school during this term.

"However, if you are supported by a social worker and your social worker advises that your child needs to attend school, it is important you follow this advice."

Mr Reddy thanked teachers for their work during the pandemic and asked people to be mindful of the emotional and mental well being of pupils as schools reopen.