Schools across the region 'struggle to stay open' because of staff absences due to Covid

Video report by Katie Cole

Schools across the North East and North Yorkshire say they're being pushed to the limit, because of staff absences related to Covid.

In County Durham, the council's Head of Education says schools are 'clinging on, and struggling to stay open.'

At one school, Lanchester EP Primary, nine members of staff have tested positive for Covid in the past week.

Headteacher Jane Davis said the situation is 'really difficult' and that schools need more support.

The Government says it's introduced measures to protect face-to-face education - including masks in secondary schools and additional air filters.

They are also urging retired teachers to consider coming back to the profession on a temporary basis.

Durham County Councillor Olwyn Gunn is a retired head teacher who says going back into education is not an option. 

She told ITV News Tyne Tees the priority should be on improving air ventilation in classrooms instead.

She said: "For me, this is about the Government stepping up and providing that protection as a matter of urgency. Why would retired teachers want to go back in?

"I love teaching and children are fascinating, but I know that I'm not trained enough now."

The Government says face-to-face learning remains a priority and last week announced an extra 7,000 air ventilators for schools.