JUST under a third of all primary schools across the borough have been forced to send pupils home this week as a result of coronavirus-related concerns.

Four primary schools - St Helen’s Catholic Primary School, Lacewood Primary School, Thurgoland CofE Primary School, and Kings Oak Primary School - announced this week that they would close fully until after next week’s half-term break.

Seventeen other schools have announced bubble closures, with some now closed until the beginning of next month.

Coun Margaret Bruff, cabinet spokesperson for children’s services, reiterated the importance of ‘now-familiar’ precautions.

“It’s important that if either a child or member of staff is feeling unwell, that they stay at home and let the school know as soon as possible,” she said.

“It’s so important that people are being more careful than ever about observing the now-familiar social distancing measures such as hand-washing, social distancing, staying at home and self-isolating if symptomatic, and wear face coverings where advised to protect others.”

The bubbles at 16 of the schools will return on Monday, November 2 after half term.

The bubble at St Michaels and All Angels Primary School will re-open on November 3.

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Parents have also been urged to wear face masks when picking up and dropping off their children, even if they don’t enter school grounds.

A council spokesperson said: “Wear a face covering if you can, both indoors and outdoors to reduce transmission due to the numbers of parents and children in one place at the same time.”

n Check www.barnsleychronicle.com for the latest on schools.