A HAMPSHIRE secondary school has been forced to temporarily close due to a rise in Covid-19 cases.

Perins School in Alresford, near Winchester, which has around 1,150 pupils, closed yesterday (Wednesday).

Fifty members of staff and 750 pupils were absent, mostly due to being told to self-isolate, including all of Year 10, said headteacher Steve Jones.

Pupils will be expected to carry on studying through remote learning.

Mr Jones wrote to parents today saying he had taken the decision to close the school and a have a 14-day 'circuit break'.

It will reopen on December 3.

He said: "At the weekend we had a significant number of new cases and this pattern has resumed/accelerated throughout this week and we are now in a position where we have positive cases in all year groups.

"Most concerning is that we are seeing new positive cases from students not previously identified as ‘contacts’ (therefore not at home isolating and in the school setting)."

He added: "This morning I spoke once again with Public Health England and expressed my concerns in that there appears to be no end point in sight with the potential risk of students returning being asked to isolate again through future ‘contacts’.

"As a result Public Health England has reviewed our situation and agreed that the best response to the current situation is a 14 day ‘circuit break’. This coincidentally coincides with national lockdown dates which will ensure that all students isolate as required (those under specific isolation requirements as well as those under national lockdown requirements).

"Therefore, regretfully, I will be closing all five year bubbles (Years 7-11) within the school at the end of the day with a return at 8.30am on December 3."