THREE more schools in Dorset have reported coronavirus cases this week before the Christmas break, including one in Sturminster Newton.

Sturminster Newton High School, which has more than 600 students, confirmed in a letter to parents and carers that a “member of our school community has tested positive for Covid-19”.

The affected person and any close contacts must self-isolate until Christmas Eve.

Jason Davis, headteacher at the Bath Road school, wrote that while the news would “naturally create concern”, he reassured parents and students that there are “rigorous measures to protect students”.

He wrote: “We need to inform you that a member of our school community has tested positive for Covid-19.

"We have been able to identify those students and staff who have been in close contact with the individual and ensure that they were sent home to self-isolate until December 24.

“That close contact group have been advised to self-isolate under advice from Public Health England and we will be contacted directly should any further action need to be taken.

“If you have not been contacted you do not need to be concerned at this time.”

Other Dorset schools with reported cases, recorded this week, are Cerne Abbas First School and Lytchett Minster School in Poole.

The schools remains open despite the Covid-19 cases, as pupils and teachers prepare for the end of term.

Sam Crowe, director of public health for Dorset and Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole councils, said: “The schools are working closely with Public Health Dorset, Dorset Council and Public Health England South West to ensure that all necessary measures are being met.”