Teachers have demanded that Boris Johnson explains himself after he rejected calls to shut schools during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Prime Minister has said he may consider legal action to force schools to stay open as the country grapples with the biggest health crisis in a generation.
His position is in stark contrast to countries including Ireland, Spain and Italy, where schools and universities have been ordered to close.
Teachers and staff say they need to be told why the decision was made – with Mr Johnson saying shutting down schools would do "more harm than good".
In a letter the National Education Union – the largest education union in Europe – said: "We now see that you may take legal powers to force schools to remain open even when heads and teachers think there is good reason to close.
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"In those circumstances we, as the leaders of the largest education union, believe that it is right for us to ask you for fuller disclosure of the models you have looked at, and to understand which measures you are targeting.
"We do not have the medical expertise to know what the transmissibility is between children and staff in close quarters in classrooms – but your scientists will have made assumptions about that, together with some view of the certainty of those figures.
"It is very important that we understand what the increased rate of infection is for staff and parents if schools remain open, including obviously for those with underlying health conditions themselves, or for those they care for."
The government has said it is worried about children being looked after by vulnerable elderly grandparents, or that NHS workers will be unable to work because of childcare duties.
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The union's letter, signed by joint general secretaries Mary Bousted and Kevin Courtney, adds: "Most of all we think that education staff deserve to have access to modelling of the projected spread of the virus and the projected number of fatalities in a wide variety of scenarios including in scenarios where schools are closed for different periods of time.
"Teachers and other staff would work to help a broader societal response to mitigate the effects of the virus. We know this is especially important in a country where public services and the NHS in particular have been run down for so long."
The UK's approach to developing "herd immunity" against Covid-19 has been questioned by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Spokeswoman Margaret Harris said not enough is known about the science of the coronavirus, and that while "theories" can be talked about, the current situation requires "action".
Plans are under way to ban mass gatherings from next week as the Government looks to implement more extreme measures.
Boris Johnson had faced criticism for not taking such actions, despite similar steps being taken by other European countries as the pandemic worsens.
Emergency legislation bringing in beefed-up powers will be published next week and there could also be a move towards more people working from home, a Whitehall source said.
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