ALMOST half of Barnsley’s primary schools have now been affected by coronavirus closures and education bosses have warned the impact will affect kids’ long-term learning outcomes.

An investigation by Ofsted concluded some children have lost basic skills as a direct result of the first lockdown and fears have been raised the second will cause further damage.

Before the half-term holiday at the end of October, 16 schools across the borough had closed bubbles - and 18 more did the same this week.

Coun Margaret Bruff said: “All schools have plans in place to support children to continue to access their learning while at home.

“I know these disruptions will have caused difficulties and I would like to thank them for their understanding of the situation.”