Thornbury's two secondary schools will be partially closed for the rest of this week as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

Students in years 8, 9 and 10 at the Castle School and Marlwood have been asked to stay at home, while school will continue as normal for pupils in years 7, 11 or at the Castle School Sixth Form.

A letter sent to parents today reads: "Following announcements from the Department for Education and Boris Johnson’s coronavirus briefing yesterday, the criteria for staying at home and social distancing have become more stringent.

"This has had a significant impact on our current staffing levels including teachers, learning support assistants, student centre workers, administration workers and other support staff.

"Unfortunately, this means that from tomorrow we will not have enough staff available to support all year groups within the school.

"We have prioritised Year 11 and 13 due to impending examinations, and Year 7 because they are the youngest year group and therefore it is often difficult for parents to supervise them at home.

"For students in Years 8, 9 and 10, the school will be closed for the rest of this week. However, for parents and carers who are not able to make arrangements to supervise their children safely, we are happy for those children to come into school as long as they and everyone at home is fit and well.

"We will not be able to provide their normal timetabled lessons but they will be supervised. These students should report to the main hall on arrival. We request that parents or carers email by 8am if they plan to use this facility so that we can ensure the safeguarding of these students.

"We will keep parents updated on opening arrangements for future weeks once we have received further guidance from

the Department for Education."