A primary school has told the parent of an asthmatic child they will be fined for taking them out of lessons as a precaution due to coronavirus.

Sabden Primary School told the parent, who wished to remain anonymous, that they could be fined despite their family being vulnerable.

Her son has been hospitalised for asthma in the past, and regularly sees a grandparent who has cancer.

“We’ve got to do everything necessary to protect my father-in-law,” she said.

“If he was to get ill, we’d have to look after him which could cause lots of issues."

The school told the parent that if her child was to take the whole week off school and fall below attendance, she would be reported to Lancashire County Council who may issue a fine.

Liz Maskell, headteacher at Sabden Primary School, said: “Anyone who is showing symptoms of coronavirus should of course stay off school, but the medical advice is that you can still continue normally unless you are showing symptoms.

“We have given advice to pupils, parents and staff about good hand hygiene and how they can protect themselves.

“There are no confirmed cases in our school, so we’re continuing as normal for us just now, and we will review this in line with national guidance.

“We are unable to comment on an individual child’s attendance. The attendance of our pupils is always a high priority and we follow national and school policy to ensure our pupils access the education to which they are entitled.

“As ever the best interests of all our children are at the heart of what we do.”

Fines for unauthorised school absences begin at £60 but can rise significantly if it is not paid in a week, and parents who still refuse to pay face a court fine of up to £2,500 and a three-month jail sentence.