The Government is considering sending children back to school. This cannot be safe unless schools can guarantee proper hand-washing facilities with hot water, soap and clean towels.

It is shocking that around 30% of our schools and colleges do not have good toilet facilities to enable proper hand-washing. We know it works to reduce the spread of disease. Doctors and families are aware that children carry disease from the school environment to parents, siblings and grandparents. Is it possible that lack of school hygiene is the reason?

The risk associated with returning children to school is enormous. Herefordshire Council should ensure that all schools, no matter what their status, have properly equipped toilets before they are reopened. The Council already employs highly qualified Environment Officers who are fully trained in the inspection of premises for cleanliness issues. They should be diverted to check every school in Herefordshire immediately. No school should re-open without being able to demonstrate that it has hot water, soap and clean towels for all the children in its care.

To protect teachers, hand-washing needs to be supervised and all institutions should be instructed to clean the toilets more frequently.

Liz Overstall