A PRIMARY school has only 22 children in school after all year groups ­— apart from one ­— were told to self-isolate after positive coronavirus tests.

Spindle Point Primary School in Kearsley is currently only open to Year Four pupils.

The school is one of a number across the Bolton which has had to shut bubbles.

Year Seven and Year 10 pupils at Ladybridge High School are also having to self-isolate after pupils tested positive for coronavirus.

Schools have described the closing of bubbles as heartbreaking as they have had an “excellent” start to the year, with children excited to be back in school. But schools are determined children’s education will not suffer, with all using remote learning to continue lessons.

Spindle Point Primary School says it is gutted that bubbles have been temporarily closed ­— but said they are still maintaining a vibrant school community thanks to modern technology and everyone working together.

The school opened its gates to children on September 2, one of the first schools to open, and had to close bubbles this week after positive tests for covid.

Fortunately no pupil had to be sent home during the day as school was able to notify parents before they brought their children to school

Headteacher Jenny Bingham said: “We are really sad to have closed the bubbles, we only have Year Four in at the moment, with all other year groups self-isolating at home.

“We cannot wait to have the children back in school, but because we had the technology in place during lockdown to teach children, we have reverted to that.

“We have had a lot of support from parents, who have been contacted us with really lovely positive feedback, which has been wonderful.

“We have been supported by public health and the local authority and the school's ICT team.

“The whole community has been wonderful.”

Thanks to the technology in place, children can enjoy full school assemblies, celebrate and show case their work and Misd Bingham says still feel very much apart of the school community.

“The whole community has pulled together, “ said Miss Bingham.

Headteacher of Ladybridge High School Patrick Russell said in a message to parents, said: “It is a massive shame that this has happened just after we opened just over a week, the learners have been amazing, and it is disappointing particularly for the Year Sevens who are just settling in.”

Cllr Anne Galloway, Bolton Council’s cabinet member for children’s services said: “Set against the escalating number of covid cases in the borough, all schools in Bolton opened their doors to all year groups earlier this month.

“Inevitably there have been positive covid tests amongst the teaching staff and children. However, the detailed risk assessments that heads and staff have been working on throughout the summer with the council have meant that robust procedures were in place to enable them to contain outbreaks, close any affected year group bubbles and offer a virtual learning package, and importantly remain open to the other year groups.

“It is a real testament to the resilience and commitment of the heads and staff of all our schools that we have seen such high pupil attendance across the borough despite the most challenging of times.”

More than half-a-dozen schools have had to close bubbles as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, some because of a shortage of staff who have tested positive for coronavirus but not been in contact with pupils.

Dr Patrick Roach, general secretary of the NASUWT teaching union, has called on the Government to prioritise the education sector for the allocation of tests.

The union leader said that pupils who have been sent home with symptoms are “facing uncertainty” about when or where they will be able to access a test.

It is only when a test comes back positive are self-isolation procedures for others put into place.