A NORTH EAST school has brought back the mandatory use of face masks amid a rise in Covid cases in recent days - and has re-introduced remote learning.

Parents have been told by the Macmillan Academy that pupils will need to start wearing face coverings and face masks in communual areas.

The school on Stockton Road in Middlesbrough issued a statement to parents saying that it was "struggling with staffing levels" as a result of Covid for the first time.

Read more: North East has among the WORST rates for vaccinating kids against Covid

It comes as The D&S Times revealed there were concerns among school leaders over rising infections after schools reportedly ran out of supplies three weeks ago.

Darlington and Stockton Times:

In a statement, Mrs Coning, head at Macmillan Academy, said it had struggled with staffing for the first time since the pandemic and had been forced to take the decision.

She said: "As recent communication has indicated, the number of Covid cases in the academy has increased recently and this has affected both staff and students.

"For the first time in the pandemic we are really struggling with staffing levels.

Read more: Parents hit out after pupils at North East secondary school are left unvaccinated

"Over the last week or so we have had to call on a number of supply teachers but even that is not going to be enough for the rest of this week."

Mrs Coning, who said that the school had been in consultations with public health, said that the decision to move Year 12 to remote learning had been "difficult."

She said: "Year 12 have made a great start to the year and we know they will work very hard independently.

"We are also conscious that we do not want to create childcare issues for parents and that is why we have chosen Year 12."

Offering assurances to pupils who are exempt or who "really" do not want to wear a face covering, she said no-one would be forced.

She added: "If you can continue to encourage your child to complete daily lateral flow tests then that will help to pick up asymptomatic positive cases.

"Thank you as ever for your continued support of the academy."

This week, the Labour MP for Durham, Mary Foy said she had been made aware from school leaders that they had not received the support needed as she said infections in schools had "rocketed" in days.

Ms Foy slammed the Government as she claimed many schools had not been yet contacted about the delivery of vaccine, despite the rollout launching on September 20.

She said: "School leaders across the region have reported to me that not enough vaccinators have been attending schools, with some being told they have ‘too many children’ to get through.

"Many have not even been contacted about vaccine delivery, despite the Government’s aim to have all children who have received or given consent vaccinated before half-term.

"These woeful figures are replicated across England, and it is little wonder that Scotland and Wales are significantly ahead of us."

But following concerns, the Health Secretary Sajid Javid confirmed that schoolchildren in England would now be able to have their jab at national vaccination sites.

In a statement, he said the vaccination programme would be "ramping up" in a move that would given schoolchildren and families more "flexibility."

He said: “To make the most of half-term next week, we will now be opening up the national booking service to all 12 to 15-year-olds to have their Covid vaccinations in existing national vaccination centres, which will offer families more flexibility.

“I think it is important that anyone who is invited as eligible for a vaccine, including young people, that they do come forward and take up that offer.”