PARENTS are being warned that disruption to their children's learning is set to continue, with Dorset's education boss saying some coronavirus restrictions - such as self-isolation for students after cases are found in schools - are 'likely to be with us for some time to come'.

More than 15 schools in the Dorset Council area have had confirmed coronavirus cases since the beginning of the month, which has led to hundreds of students being forced to self-isolate and return to remote learning.

Pupils were originally stopped from going to school on March 23, 2020 when the country was plunged into the first national lockdown.

Students then had a phased return to school from June 1, 2020 before breaking up for the summer holidays.

Schools then reopened at the beginning of September for the autumn term and continued face-to-face teaching until the Christmas holidays.

After the break, some went back for just one day in January this year before we went into another national lockdown.

Pupils returned to teaching on March 8, but for many it has been disrupted, with hundreds of students forced to isolate after Covid outbreaks at individual schools.

Councillor Andrew Parry, Dorset Council portfolio holder for children, education, skills and early help, is empathetic to pupils and their parents, but remains firm in the belief that everyone must continue to follow public health guidance.

He said: "I think we are very conscious that for a lot of children and young people, they wold prefer to be in educational settings and be with their peers rather than learn on their own at home.

"We are acutely aware of the impact isolation has on young people and we are seeing a range of outcomes for children and young people as a result of restrictions, with some finding it particularly challenging.

"We have terrific empathy for parents that will be juggling demands of their own work with supporting their family and ensuring that their children are able to continue to receive education from a remote setting.

"We have to accept that these restrictions have been with us for some time and that they are likely to be with us for some time to come.

"We have always taken direction from Public Health England on who should isolate and when so that we can ensure that sufficiently stringent measures are in place to stop widespread outbreaks. We must continue to do that."