More than 90 per cent of Hertfordshire primary schools have reopened today, despite trade union concerns that it was too early to open schools in the county.

Schools across the county began to welcome back nursery, reception, Year one and Year six pupils after weeks of isolation due to Covid-19.

Following Government advice to reopen schools from today (June 1) many schools either began teaching pupils with new safety regulations, while other schools were holding Covid-19 training days for staff.

Many schools have remained open throughout the lockdown period for vulnerable children and those with keyworker parents, but plans are now well underway for the phased return of other pupils.

Councillor Terry Douris, Cabinet Member for Education, Libraries and Localism said: “The government has been clear that reopening was subject to progress in managing the Covid-19 epidemic remaining acceptable.

"The safety of our children and school staff is paramount and schools have been completing thorough risk assessments to ensure this safety can be maintained through appropriate social distancing, hygiene and personal protection.

“Parents and carers are being asked to play their part by agreeing to enter and leave the school premises as directed, observing social distancing and not gathering at the gates. The phased reopening depends on the circumstances of each school, and the extent to which the wellbeing of the school community can be assured.

“Massive thanks to all our headteachers, support staff, parents and pupils for their help and co-operation during this phased period of transition from the Covid-19 lockdown back to school. We appreciate it is a huge step to take after weeks of isolation and can assure them of our unstinting support to make this process as safe and stress-free as possible.”

The Watford Observer contacted many schools about the reopenings, but many were either undergoing their training days and some did not reply.

Read more: Hundreds of parents will not send their children back to schools when they reopen

Last week, the National Education Union (NEU) warned that preparations for schools in Hertfordshire are “not sufficient enough” for a safe reopening.

Paul McLauglin, regional secretary of the eastern region of the NEU, said: “We have had some constructive conversations with many local authorities across the region. One of the issues that remains outstanding in most areas is the issue of adequate provision of PPE.

“In Hertfordshire the situation is particularly dire and we are concerned they are not taking the issues seriously enough.

“The local authority has admitted there are no gowns, and limited supplies of gloves, and yet they still are stating schools can expand opening safely. This is not true and puts children’s safety at risk.

“Parents should be aware that preparations are not sufficient to guarantee a safe expansion of school opening on Monday in Hertfordshire.

“Parents are being told that schools are safe when clearly in many cases they are not.”

In response to the warning , the Leader of Hertfordshire County Council, Cllr David Williams, said “ultimately decisions have to be made”.

He said: "I believe that both our planning and that of schools has been very thorough. Possible risks have been reviewed in every school by Head Teachers with advice and support from the Council. Where necessary, safeguards have been put in place.

"I am confident it is now safe for schools to reopen in the planned and measured way proposed by the Government. I am confident our children will be safe in school as will staff, and I would urge parents now to join in returning their children to school."

Safety guidelines imposed by the Department of Education including splitting children into ‘bubble’ groups of 15 pupils or less per class, so they do not interact with many people.

There are staggered start, break, lunch and end of school times to assure any interaction is limited.

Many other precautions are taken such as cleaning stations, one-way systems and more.