A North-East primary school is to be closed for 14 days from Monday after five staff were confirmed as having coronavirus.

A member of staff at Hemlington Hall Academy, in Middlesbrough, tested positive with the virus on Sunday and four more are now confirmed cases.

As a result, a significant number of key staff are self-isolating, and the decision has been taken to close the school for two weeks during which time it will be deep cleaned.

There are no confirmed cases among the pupils, and no children have reported symptoms to the school. As a result, the advice from Public Health England is that families do not need to self-isolate.

All safety measures, recommended by Public Health England, have been in place since the school reopened.

Nick Blackburn, chief executive of Lingfield Education Trust, which includes Hemlington Hall Academy, said: “Our priority is always the safety and wellbeing of our pupils, staff and families, and the safety precautions have been strictly adhered to.

“I appreciate that this decision will have an impact on our families, and I want to reassure them that it has been taken in the interests of health and safety for everyone connected with the school.”

Parents were informed of the decision this afternoon, and Middlesbrough Council has issued a statement supporting the school’s actions.

Cllr Mieka Smiles, Executive Member with responsibility for Education and Skills, said: “Current absence levels would have made it difficult to follow current guidance. The Council fully supports this precautionary decision.

“The school has contacted parents directly, offering information and advice they need to follow, and will now prepare for a safe reopening.

“All Middlesbrough schools have worked tirelessly to prepare for children to return safely and will continue to follow advice set out by the Department of Education and Public Health England.

“All decisions will be made with the safety of staff, children and their families in mind.”