A HIGH school has closed for the week after an outbreak of coronavirus.

Up until last weekend, May 15 and 16, Haslingden High School and Sixth Form had only recorded one positive case of Covid-19 despite thousands of tests on pupils.

But the situation has drastically changed with the Rossendale school now closed for four days following a 'considerable' increase in infections.

In an open letter to parents, headteacher Mark Jackson said: "Over the weekend and this afternoon, I have been in contact with Lancashire County Council’s public health team to discuss how we can best manage this outbreak in school.

"Following these discussions and in consultation with the chair of governors, I have made the decision that in the best interests of all members of our school community, we will revert to remote learning for all year groups for the rest of this week, separate information will follow for Year 11 and 13.

"Given that the following week is half term, this will enable us to break the chain in transmission and will hopefully allow a smooth start to the final half term on Monday 7 June.

"We will contact you at the end of the half-term holiday to confirm our plans based on the information available at that time."

The school has confirmed that most cases have been in years 8 and 9 but there are positive test results in all year groups with cases now beginning to rise.

Staff have also been affected with absences and self-isolation putting further strain on the school's day-to-day operations.

Following this, the school has today taken the decision to close until after half-term with children returning on June 7.

Remote learning is now in place until half-term which starts on Saturday.

Mr Jackson said: "We strongly advise that students continue with the twice-weekly lateral flow tests.

"In addition, Public Health Lancashire is advising that all students and members of their household book a PCR test, this can be done through the online portal even if they have no symptoms.

"We have worked really hard throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to keep staff and students safe and assure you that this decision has not been taken lightly. This is a very clear reminder to all of us that COVID-19 is still very much part of our daily lives and how quickly things can escalate both in school and in the local community.

"I also feel this demonstrates how important it is that we continue to follow both government rules and guidelines and local public health advice, at all times.

"Over the weekend I had a significant number of phone calls with parents and received an equal number of emails.

"Without exception, despite the current situation, these were all very positive with parents clearly understanding the difficult situation we are trying to navigate.

"As always, I would like to thank you for your ongoing support, it is very much appreciated."