AN INCREASE in Covid cases is causing disruption in the final week of the school year with proms cancelled and pupils and staff having to self-isolate.

Most Dorset schools are scheduled to break up for the summer holidays on Friday but the final week of school, which is traditionally reserved for sports days, summer fêtes and other events, has been one of disappointment for many students and teachers amid rising coronavirus cases.

Organisers of the proms at Weymouth's Budmouth Academy have decided to postpone all three of the planned events - which were for Year 11 (class of 2021), Year 11 (class of 2020), and Year 13 - which were scheduled for today, tomorrow and Friday at the sailing academy.

In a letter sent home to parents on Monday, headteacher David Herbert said: "In recent days we have seen a significant rise in the number of confirmed positive cases in students who would have been due to attend, with a further significant knock-on effect to students who have been identified as close contacts and, therefore, required to self-isolate.

"Whilst we are all very keen that our students are given the chance to celebrate, we have no wish for these social events to place members of our local community, including staff at the sailing academy, in a position of potential risk."

Meanwhile, parents of those attending Chickerell Primary Academy have been given the opportunity to take their children out of school early to reduce their chances of catching Covid-19 and ensuring that summer holidays are secure.

Headteacher Jody Harris wrote to parents and said: "Over the last week, within our Chickerell community, we have had an explosion of cases amongst the adults, which sadly now is just trickling to the children.

"I know many of you are anxious about protecting your summer holiday and not having to isolate, so if you want to withdraw your child from the end of term early in order to safeguard your precious time with them once we've broken up, then I am happy to authorise this."

Twenty-five Dorset schools have reported Covid cases in the last two weeks, leading to high numbers of students being forced to self-isolate.

More than 70 students from Atlantic Academy on Portland were sent home after one staff member tested positive for coronavirus on Monday.

Remote learning has resumed for 30 Year 4 pupils who are self-isolating. Seven staff members are also isolating, which has led to 44 Reception students also being sent home.

A spokesman for Aspirations Academies Trust said: "'A member of staff at Atlantic Academy Primary has tested positive for Covid-19.

"Following guidance from Public Health England, 30 Year 4 pupils are currently self-isolating at home and online/remote learning has resumed. Seven members of staff are also self-isolating and as a result 44 Reception students have also been sent home.

''We regret having to take these steps so close to the end of term, however, the school is working closely with Public Health Dorset, Dorset Council and Public Health England South West to ensure all necessary government measures are met. The safety and wellbeing of our students and staff remain a priority.''