HUNDREDS of vulnerable youngsters and children of key workers are self-isolating due to cases of coronavirus in schools.

Despite schools being closed to most pupils, they must remain open for pupils in both categories.

But since the start of term 19 schools in BCP and the surrounding area have reported cases of Covid-19.

Read more: LISTED: Schools with cases of coronavirus across BCP and Dorset

So many staff are affected at Montacute School in Poole that it has closed its doors and moved to remote learning for all students.

Infant, junior, primary and secondary schools are all affected.

Many schools have reported that they have more pupils on site than in the first lockdown due to the widening of the key worker and vulnerable categories.

More parents are keen to send their children to school after struggling with home learning last spring and summer.

Among those classed as key workers are health and education workers and those involved in the supply of food. Also included are police, journalists, those working in the justice system and those involved in the management of the deceased.

The definition of a vulnerable child has been updated by the government.

It includes looked after children, those with a child protection plan or education, health and care plan and any who have been identified as vulnerable by educational providers or local authorities.

This could include those living in temporary accommodation, young carers and those who may have difficulty engaging with remote education, for example due to a lack of devices of quiet place to study.

Children who need to attend to benefit their mental health are also classed as vulnerable.