BORIS Johnson has claimed the risk of teachers and pupuls catching coronavirus is "very small" amid pressure to stop English schools from reopening tomorrow.

Speaking on the Andrew Marr Show, the Prime Minister said parents in England should send primary school children to school tomorrow morning.

Johnson said: “We have really fought very hard throughout this pandemic across the country to keep schools open for lots of reasons.

“Schools are safe. It is very, very important to stress that.

“The risk to kids, to young people is really very, very small indeed.

“The risk to staff is very small.

“I would advise all parents thinking about want to do, look at where your area is, overwhelmingly you’ll be in a part of the country where primary schools tomorrow will be open.”

Most primary schools in England are scheduled to open on Monday, followed by a staggered start for secondary schools a week later, with GCSE and A-level pupils set to return first.

Johnson described school closures in London and the South East as "exceptional" due to the fast-spreading virus variant.

"Schools are safe – it's very, very important to stress that," he says. The risk to children is very, very low, he added.

He said the benefit of education "is so huge".

Asked if he would take legal action against councils which have decided not to reopen primary schools, Johnson said: “We’ll work very hard with authorities across the country to get our message across that we think schools are safe; that schools are safe, there’s absolutely no doubt about it.

“I understand people’s frustrations, I understand people’s anxieties but there is no doubt in my mind that schools are safe and that education is a priority.

“And if you think about the history of the pandemic, we’ve kept schools going for a long, long time in areas where the pandemic has really been at really high levels.”

Johnson added: “We will keep this under constant review but we will be driven by public health considerations and by the massive importance of education.”

Pupils in Scotland are supposed to head back to school on January 18, but with a spike in cases and fears over the spread of the new coronavirus variant, the First Minister could soon be under pressure to delay that return.

READ MORE: Shut schools unless children can be kept two metres apart, FM's adviser says

It comes as a group of head teachers called for the scrapping of English exams this summer.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson is insisting the summer national exams must still go ahead.

But more than 2000 head teachers, from the campaign group Worthless?, say pupils, parents and teachers should not be put at risk of contracting Covid for the sake of protecting exam timetables.

READ MORE: Call for England to follow Scotland's lead and scrap exams amid Westminster chaos

John Swinney announced last month that Scottish pupils will not sit Highers or Advanced Highers next year following concerns that allowing the tests to take place would disproportionately impact pupils in the most deprived areas of the country.

The Education Secretary told parliament that pupils had lost significant amount of teaching time due the pandemic, with poorer communities suffering more.