Children and teachers from three schools in the borough have taken part in important coronavirus research.

Beacon Primary School, Horwich, St Paul's CE Primary School and St Peter's Smithills Dean Church of England Primary School all participated in a study to assess the prevalence of the virus among pupils and teachers.

The study was officially launched last month by Public Health England, and across Greater Manchester more than 600 children and teachers have taken part.

In the initial phase of the study data will be collected from 100 schools in England.

Teams from Manchester University NHS Foundation (MFT) Trust have been visiting the schools over several weeks to take nose, throat and saliva swabs as well as blood tests from participants.

The data gathered from the study will determine how to bring all children and staff safely back to school.

Karen Bramwell, Chief Executive Officer of Forward as One Church of England Multi Academy Trust, which oversees these three schools, said: "Staff in particular felt quite comforted that they were going to be tested.

"Parents were very supportive of it, some of the children had to have blood tests and they were fabulous, they all received covid-19 warrior certificates.

"People were very positive about it, we feel absolutely delighted that our schools have been a part of it, we are just doing our bit in the fight against coronavirus.

"This research will benefit the wider community, something which is at the heart of what we do as a trust.

"All the nurses were fantastic with the children too."

The study has been equally reassuring for parents as well as staff.

Karen Murray, whose son is in year six at St Peter's Smithills Dean, said: "It's well organised and it's been a privilege for the children to be able to contribute to the research."

Mrs Lancashire, headteacher at St Peter's Smithills Dean said: "All the children and staff at St Peter's Smithills Dean have been most privileged to take part in national research.

"This opportunity has initiated many discussions about the present time in which we live and has helped to inform the children about the scientific work being carried out in relation to covid-19."

Janette Dunkerley, Head of Nursing for Research and Innovation at MFT, said: "MFT has an established history of effectively recruiting to studies in schools.

"This has enabled our Research and Innovation teams to set this vital study up and deploy a clinical research delivery team, into local primary schools within a matter of days.

"I'd like to thank you partner schools, our MFT research delivery team, the children and teachers who have taken part in this research so far."