EVERYONE agrees that the best place to educate an child is in a school and that schools should reopen as soon as possible.

No one seems to doubt that it is the children from less privileged backgrounds, who do not have superfast broadband or the latest computing technology or even the space or family support, who are suffering the most from being off school.

Everyone acknowledges just how difficult it is for parents, particularly those with young children, who are trying to juggle educating their offspring with working from home. It must be impossible.

It is interesting, though, that the pressure to reopen schools quickly is coming mostly from Tory MPs, some of whom have doubts about the lockdown.

Surely, schools can only reopen when it is safe – safe for the wider community who may catch the virus from an asymptomatic child, and safe for the teachers and their assistants.

If the pressure on the Government causes it to reopen schools a fortnight too early, it could result in yet another long lockdown which will do more damage.

The education department should be using the closure to get a proper testing system in place – not the ridiculous last-minute idea it came up with on the day before Christmas – and to work out how a phased reopening, in areas with low infection rates, can be carried out.