A YEAR group at a secondary school near Hereford has been sent home and told to stay there until further notice due to Covid-19.

St Mary's RC High School, in Lugwardine, said on Wednesday that it had been told of a potential case within year nine, but it had not yet been confirmed.

When a pupil tests positive for coronavirus in a school, their year group, class or bubble must self-isolate for 10 days, as they are deemed to be close contacts.

Headteacher Stuart Weston said in a letter to parents on Wednesday: "I am writing to inform you that we have this evening been informed of a potential further case of Covid within the year group.

"As this case has yet to be verified and we are unable to take advice from outbreak control or Public Health England, we are taking the measure to ask all Year 9 pupils at St Mary’s to remain at home and not come into school until further notice.

"Please be assured that this is precautionary measure in the interests of safety as we were notified of this potential case out of hours.

"As soon as we have been able to seek further guidance tomorrow morning (Thursday) we will be in touch"

He told parents that students should take a rapid coronavirus lateral flow test, those that give results in 30 minutes, if they are asymptomatic.

If a child has symptoms, or the lateral flow test comes back positives, they should book a PCR test, which is processed by a laboratory.

"We apologise for any inconvenience that this may cause and will do everything possible to minimise disruption to learning," Mr Weston added.

"However, the overall safety of our pupils, staff and school community is our priority during these unprecedented times."

Hereford Academy has also been forced to send pupils home to self-isolate after a coronavirus case.