TEACHERS fear the Prime Minister's proposals to reopen schools to all pupils from March 8 could cause another national lockdown.

Details of Boris Johnson's 'roadmap' out of lockdown emerged from Downing Street on Sunday night, before the Prime Minister outlined his plans on Monday.

Pupils in all years look set to return to school on March 8, with outdoor after-school sports and activities allowed to restart too.

The plan has caused concern in the education sector, with many teachers favouring a staggered approach.

Louise Atkinson, a Carlisle teacher and city councillor who is also a national executive member for the National Education Union, said she understood the need to get pupils back in schools - but that she was concerned it could see infection rates rise again.

CONCERNED: Louise Atkinson

CONCERNED: Louise Atkinson

She said: "I'm a teacher and a mum, I'm desperate for every child to be back in school as soon as possible.

"However, we're looking at 10 million people across England - nearly a fifth of the population - in overcrowded, cramped classrooms.

"I'm looking forward to seeing what safety measures the Government are going to put in place. I'm confused as to when schools became Covid-secure. Just saying it doesn't make it so.

"Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland are going to have some pupils back and then assess the impact. I don't see why England is different."

Louise's words were echoed by Carlisle headteacher and national executive member of the National Association of Headteachers, Graham Frost.

He said: "Of course, we want children in school as soon as it is safe, but also as soon as it is sustainable.

"The worry there is that we could push the R rate back above one and into exponential growth.

"We've got a Prime Minister who seems to base his decision making on other people's influences. When you're in a position of leadership, and school leaders know this, you go with what is right on the basis of the many, knowing full well you're going to be unpopular."

Yesterday, nine education organisations joined together to urge the Prime Minister to only comit to a March 8 opening "if the the scientific evidence is absolutely clear that this is safe," adding that it would be "counterproductive" to return if it caused another surge in cases.