Coronavirus outbreaks at eight schools across England have been reported during the first week pupils went back to class.
After months away from their classmates and teachers, tens of thousands of pupils were finally able to return to school this week.
So far schools in Greater Manchester, Yorkshire, Leicestershire, Lancashire and Buckinghamshire have seen outbreaks of various sizes.
All pupils who have tested positive have been consigned to two weeks of self-isolation.
The debate has been raging for months about whether it is safe for children to be sent back to school.
The Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies has warned that secondary schools reopening pose far greater risk than primary schools.
It calculated that up to 2.5 million families could be at risk from an outbreak in the education system because they are connected through siblings attending different schools.
Conversely Professor Russell Viner has suggested that children would be more at risk of measles than the coronavirus.
The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health doctor said: “If your job is about the care of children, and if you know that the risk of them getting ill with Covid is incredibly small, you want to see schools reopen.
“Last week saw yet another scientific paper telling us very, very few children become seriously ill with Covid-19. We also know they play only a limited role in transmitting the virus.”
The king David School in Greater Manchester reopened to sixth formers and the new Year 7 intake on Friday, August 28.
One of the older pupils started to feel unwell with a temperature that evening.
Three students who were within two metres of the affected pupil are now having to self-isolate for 14 days.
The school spent £21,000 prior to children coming back on measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
The Dixons Trinity Academy and Dixons Kings Academy in Bradford
Dixons Academies Trust, which runs 12 academies in Bradford and Leeds, has confirmed that two staff members and one student have tested positive for the virus at three academies.
While the Trust has not named the schools, two of them are understood to be Dixons Trinity Academy and Dixons Kings Academy.
A small number of staff and students have been asked to self-isolate.
The infected parties are said to be recovering well.
Ridgeway Primary Academy in Market Harborough
A pupil at a primary school in the Leicestershire town has tested positive for the coronavirus.
It was discovered over the weekend that pupil aged between 5 and 7 had tested positive for Covid-19.
The pupil has been asked to self-isolate for 10 days.
Other pupils who were in close contact with the child have been asked to self-isolate for two weeks.
A school in Whitworth in Lancashire
Although its identity is not currently known, a Rossendale Borough Councillor has confirmed that several cases have been traced back to one school.
Councillor Alyson Barnes said that the rise of Rossendale into the top five of the nationwide infection rate was largely due to the school outbreak.
It is not known how many people have tested positive and when.
“Parents of all local children concerned have been notified and will be self-isolating and seeking a test,” Cllr Barnes said.
Chesham Grammar School and Sir William Borlase’s Grammar School in Buckinghamshire
An unknown number of pupils at the two schools have caught the virus, it was confirmed today.
Most of both sets of pupils are said to have been infected abroad during the school holidays.
Neither school had reopened when the cases were confirmed.
All pupils affected are self-isolating having been contacted by the test and trace system.