A secondary school is likely to be closed for at least a week after a number of positive coronavirus tests.

Townsend Church of England School in St Albans said both staff and students have tested positive for Covid-19, in an update on its website.

Ths school, in High Oaks in the north of the city, is not planning to reopen until at least Wednesday December 9.

The update, published on the school website on Tuesday (December 1) revealed pupils in several years have received positive tests.

It read: "We have now received information from staff and parents/carers that a number of tests that were taken yesterday have returned as positive.

"To date we have 13 staff not in and a further 2 have been sent home today. 5 staff have positive tests and others are going for tests today.

"We now have information that five students in Year 11, one in year 9, two in year 10 and four in year 7 have also tested positive with others being notified to us as every hour passes.

"Our school attendance today details under 40 per cent of each year group being in school as families take a decision to self-isolate."

The decision to shut has come following advice from public health officials.

The update continued: "We have again assessed our situation and believe that when all the above information is considered we have no option but to close our school, to increase the safety for our students and staff, for all year groups and all staff.

"This will be for an initial period of one week while we further assess the infection rate and take further advice from Hertfordshire County Council and Public Health England.

"We would therefore be planning to open again Wednesday December 9th

"We have not taken this decision lightly and once again thank you for your support. We have always maintained the safety of our school community remains our priority and right now we are in a position where we judge the risks for this community are too high."

Pupils will study at home while the school remains closed.

The closure of Townsend comes after Marlborough Science Academy took the decision to shut last week.

Head teacher Annie Thomson said "there was no other way to keep us all safe but to shut the school" after coronavirus cases in several year groups, with more than 30 teachers self-isolating.

Marlborough Science Academy is understood to be opening to all pupils again this week.