Schools should be closed as part of England’s second lockdown, a teaching union has said.

The NEU made the call claiming they were a "major contributor to the spread of coronavirus".

On Saturday, the prime minister announced that schools, colleges and universities will remain open between 5 November and 2 December when the rest of the country enters a second lockdown.

The union says its call to keep schools open only for the children of key workers has been backed by more than 70,000 teachers.

Joint general secretary Kevin Courtney said in a statement: "The government should include all schools in proposals for an immediate national lockdown and as a minimum be preparing for school rotas at the end of that period.

"It is clear from ONS (Office for National Statistics) data that schools are an engine for virus transmission.

"It would be self-defeating for the government to impose a national lockdown, whilst ignoring the role of schools as a major contributor to the spread of the virus.

"This would be likely to lead to the need for even longer lockdowns in the future."

Before schools first re-opened partially in the summer term, the NEU campaigned against the move over concerns that teachers did not feel safe at work.

However, Anne Longfield, the Children's Commissioner for England, has said it is "very welcome" that schools would remain open and added it would have been a "disaster" if they were to close.