A total of 35 schools in Hertfordshire had partially or fully closed as a result of Covid-19 in the first two weeks of the autumn term – sending home more than 1,000 pupils.

New data shows that one in every 11 secondary schools in the county had to send at least some pupils home by September 16.

And 2.5 per cent of primary schools had to partially or totally close, due to Covid too.

There have been confirmed cases involving students and staff at a number of schools, including in St Albans, Bushey, and Borehamwood.

Education officials at Hertfordshire County Council have previously refused to identify the number or names of schools affected by the virus, pointing to "confidentiality" and the "risk of personal data being disclosed".

But the data is included in a report for a meeting of the council’s resources and performance cabinet panel on October 1.

The report also suggests although the data indicates that 35 schools that had been affected, the council does not know how many students have been affected.

That’s because they are relying on data collected by the government’s daily attendance monitoring schedule.

The report adds only around 60 per cent of schools in the county are currently completing this 'schedule'.

In those schools, the data shows the number of pupils self-isolating has topped 1,100.

If a student tests positive, the advice issued by the council is for pupils in their 'bubble' or those they have been in close contact with to stay away from school and self-isolate.

The report to the cabinet panel states: "As of 16th September, some 35 schools in Hertfordshire were affected by a Covid-19 infection, amongst either staff or pupils. This is in line with the national picture.

"The number of pupils isolating at this time is not known, as about 40 per cent of schools nationally and in Hertfordshire are not currently completing the DfE’s daily attendance monitoring schedule (it is not mandatory).

"However, for the 60 per cent of schools that are reporting daily the number of pupils self-isolating is about 1,100.

"Numbers of schools and pupils affected changes day to day, as does the extent to which any particular school is closed."

The report does not take into account any pupils that have been sent home since September 16 or any outbreaks in schools since that date.

The data also details for the first time the attendance levels at the county’s schools since the start of term.

Last autumn, school attendance averaged 95.6 per cent. But the latest data – up to September 16 – shows attendance rates that are lower - 90 per cent in secondary schools and 87 per cent in primary schools.