SCHOOL pupils and staff will be required to self-isolate following a confirmed case of coronavirus.

Powers Hall Academy in Spa Road, Witham, has told the Times a member of staff has tested positive for the virus and all pupils, as well as staff, will be required to self-isolate.

It is understood bosses were informed of the positive case around 10 minutes before school was due to begin this morning (Monday, September 28).

Parents were then asked to take students home immediately.

The member of staff who has tested positive has not been at the school since Tuesday, September 22.

A letter sent out by bosses at lunchtime says pupils will have to wait until October 6 before they can return.

It states: "We have been made aware that we have a confirmed positive case of coronavirus (COVID-19) at Powers Hall Academy.

"We have followed the national guidance and, following a risk assessment with Public Health England (PHE) advisers, have identified that your child has been in sufficient close contact with the individual who has had a positive test result for coronavirus (COVID-19).

"In line with the national guidance, we recommend that your child now stays at home and self-isolates until October 6 (14 days after contact).

"We are asking your child to do this to reduce the further spread of coronavirus (COVID19) to others in the community.

"If your child is well at the end of the 14-day period of self-isolation, then they can return to their usual activities and attend school.

"Other members of your household can continue normal activities, provided your child does not develop symptoms within the 14-day self-isolation period."