PARENTS are being urged to "only request school places where absolutely necessary" as Bolton schools are experiencing high demand for places during lockdown.

Schools in Bolton remain open only to vulnerable pupils and the children of critical workers.

All other pupils are asked to learn remotely from home in order to protect them, their families and school staff.

­But demand for places during this national lockdown is said to be much higher than the first lockdown in March.

Now education bosses have stepped forward after schools throughout Bolton reported a high volume of requests from families asking for children to be allowed to attend school.

Bolton Council’s Executive Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Cllr Anne Galloway, said:

“All schools in Bolton are providing education to all of their students, with many being taught remotely while the buildings are open for many vulnerable children and children of critical workers.

“Schools are receiving a large number of requests for their child to be taught within the school premises from parents of critical workers.

“Schools are following national guidance and making places available wherever possible.

“To be considered for a place, parents will require evidence from their employer that they are a critical worker.

“Depending on their individual risk assessments and staffing capacity schools may need to limit the number of available places to limit transmission and ensure the safety of children and staff.

“All schools will be offering online learning for children who don’t attend for face-to-face teaching.

“This week we have already seen a number of positive tests for staff and children in schools resulting in further children and staff isolating.

“Whilst we fully understand the pressures parents are under, we would strongly request them to only request places where they are absolutely necessary.”

Nearly half of headteachers in England have had to prioritise school places among children of key workers and vulnerable pupils due to high demand during lockdown, a survey suggests.

More than a third of school leaders say they had 31 per cent or more of their normal roll attend school in person on Thursday, according to a poll by the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT).

One in ten heads say they had 41-60 per cent of their pupils come into school amid the new lockdown, the figures suggest.