A SECONDARY school reported having more than 20 members of staff down following a number of coronavirus cases.

More than a quarter of teaching staff at Ladybridge High School were off at the end of last week and the start of this week, due largely to the virus

Last Wednesday, the school had 17 staff members off and this rose to 20 by the Friday ­— forcing senior leaders to consider which year group should be taught remotely from home, on the grounds of safety, due to the shortages.

Headteacher Patrick Russell said: “End of last week we had over 20 staff absent at the moment, and the vast majority of those were teaching staff.

“We had over a quarter of teaching staff absent, largely due to covid-19.”

Mr Russell said that although the staffing situation had improved it was an issue.

He said: “A number of staff have returned to school after negative covid test results. If things continue to improve, all year groups will be back in school from Thursday 26, although the situation is clearly far from stable.”

The school was set to make a decision on which year group should be taught remotely on Monday.

But following positive coronavirus case in Year 10, it was decided all the pupils in the year group should be taught from home ­— which would effectively keep more young people in school.

Usually, the school, like other secondary schools, would only ask pupils who have been in touch with the person who has tested positive to self-isolate, through the track and trace system.

Yesterday, another positive coronavirus test was recorded in the year group, meaning all the year group would have had to self-isolate regardless of the staffing situation.

Other schools in Bolton have been forced to make the decision to teach children remotely because of staff shortages due to coronavirus.

Mr Russell said: “I feel grateful to work with parents and carers who recognise the extreme times in which we are living.

“We are doing everything we can to strike that balance in keeping people safe and providing the highest quality of education.”

In Year 11, 34 students are self-isolating because of a positive coronavirus case, but thanks to track and trace the majority of pupils are in.

As of last Friday, just under 15 per cent of schools, and nurseries had staff or pupils who were isolating.

No schools in Bolton have had to close fully because of coronavirus cases thanks to the track and trace and bubble system.