SIR Bernard Jenkin has warned the Prime Minister that "everything will be disrupted" if schools start falling over for the lack of coronavirus tests.

The Harwich and North Essex MP told Boris Johnson Manningtree High School has 13 pupils and one staff member off as their family members are waiting for Covid-19 tests.

Sir Bernard announced the number of pupils off at the school to the Prime Minister when he appeared before the House of Commons Liaison Committee on Wednesday.

Sir Bernard, who chairs the committee, asked Mr Johnson how the Government will prioritise testing for schools to keep them operating.

He said: “If the schools start falling over for lack of tests, that will disrupt everything.

“At Manningtree High School, in my constituency, 97 per cent of pupils came back when it reopened.

“They have got only 88 per cent of pupils in now and a staff member off waiting for a test for one of their children.”

“They have got 13 pupils off.

“How will we prioritise testing for schools to keep them operating?”

Mr Johnson said pupils should not be sent home unless a member of the class or bubble has tested positive for coronavirus.

But Sir Bernard argued the issue is that pupils themselves are requiring testing because of something which happened at home.

In response Mr Johnson said: “I can appreciate the frustrations of parenting and that pupils want more tests, and all I can say is that we are doing our best to supply more tests, to speed the process up, to turn it round faster, and to ensure that people get tests as close as possible to where they want them.”

Here are the schools in Essex confirmed with Covid-19 cases.

Manningtree High School has confirmed the students away from the school are in families where a family member is waiting for a test.

Headteacher Sally Morris said the students themselves are not waiting for tests.

She added: “We have perfectly healthy students at home who are missing days of school because it takes so long for them a) to access a test in the first place and b) for the negative test to come back.

“This is, of course, also true for staff.”

A pupil tested positive for the virus in West Bergholt.