Schoolchildren are paying the price for government dithering, according to the Yorkshire Party.

Children, teachers and parents are suffering uncertainty, health risks and loss of education because the government failed to act on the second Covid wave in September, the party says.

Leader, Bob Buxton, said: “SAGE told the Prime Minister we needed an immediate circuit-breaker lockdown on September 21. Two weeks of lockdown then would have saved tens of thousands of lives and limited economic damage and loss of education.”

Dr Buxton, who lives in Rawdon and teaches engineering apprentices in Bradford, added: “Instead of timely action, we have chaos – last minute decisions on when and how schools reopen and even calls for exams to be cancelled. I personally hope exams will be put back a few weeks and, maybe, adapted instead. A system relying on teachers’ predictions puts them under tremendous pressure. It may have been difficult to avoid last year but not this year.”

The Yorkshire Party is also calling for teachers, support staff and pupils in especially high risk groups to be shielded.

Dr Buxton added: “With the higher transmissibility of the new strain, the most vulnerable should not be in a classroom with 30 other people.”