Pupils in areas of the country under local lockdown restrictions will return to school in September, schools minister Nick Gibb has insisted.

He said this week that all children will be returning to school in September “including in those areas that are currently subject to a local lockdown” Schools Week reports.

But he added that each lockdown would be managed case-by-case and said ministers cannot “decree” that school openings be prioritised over other services and businesses.

Asked whether other restrictive measures should be considered before further school closures, Gibb said the government’s response would be “more nuanced”.

“It does have to depend on the facts of the case, and that’s why the local director of public health will be responsible for the response to that spike.”

The news comes after a study from the US suggested that coronavirus could spread more quickly in schools than first thought.

Leading epidemiologist Professor Neil Ferguson also warned this week that bringing back older pupils to secondaries and colleges “poses a real risk of amplification of transmission”.

The scientist, who resigned from the government’s advisory SAGE committee earlier this year, said the evidence was “still not certain” on transmission by teenagers, but “it looks like older teenagers can transmit just as well as adults”.