More than 60 UK schools have been hit with coronavirus outbreaks so far this term, the TES reports.

The Department for Education confirmed the figure amid dozens of local reports of school closures or partial closures and disruption.

One of the most notable was at Samuel Ward Academy in Haverhill, Suffolk, where five teachers returned positive tests for Covid-19.

At the Cardinal Newman Catholic School, in Hove, East Sussex, 45 pupils in Year 7 were sent home after a teaching assistant tested positive.

In the independent sector, the NHS has confirmed that contract tracing was taking place at St Aloysius' College in Glasgow.

A DfE spokesperson said: “The very small number of schools that are asking some or all of their pupils to remain at home are following our clear published process following a positive case being confirmed in a school.

“If a positive case is confirmed, swift action will be taken to ask those who have been in close contact with them to self-isolate, and Public Health England’s local health protections teams are standing ready to support and advise schools in this situation."

The outbreaks come as a survey highlighted teachers’ fears of catching coronavirus as they return to work with all pupils attending.

A YouGov survey for the Education Support organisation revealed that just over half of teachers were worried they would be exposed to the coronavirus.