HUNDREDS of students have been tested for Covid after a reported outbreak at a school in Reading.

Selective grammar Reading School said it carried out almost 1,000 PCR tests in just one day on Tuesday in an attempt to stop the spread.

A member of the public claimed 55 coronavirus cases were reported at the Erleigh Road school on Wednesday, but this has not been confirmed by its leadership.

Deputy Headmaster Chris Evans said: “The school has implemented every measure recommended by the Department for Education. We introduced additional controls as soon as a cluster of cases were identified, and have continued to add risk mitigation measures over the course of the past week.

"We have been well supported by Reading Borough Council’s Covid-19 response team and regional Public Health officials, and were able to complete almost 1,000 PCR tests with our students yesterday (September 21)."

Read more: Teenagers worst hit by Covid as youth vaccine offer

More than 122,000 children in England were absent from schools last week for reasons related to Covid-19, according to the Department of Education.

Reading School did not confirm how many pupil absences have been a result of the recent outbreak, but Mr Evans said absences in the past week were “comparable to or lower than” the national average.

The deputy headmaster added that the Covid case rate at Reading School was well below the national school average in the week ending September 11.

Read more: Fake anti-vax Government leaflets planted in Reading GP surgery

The news comes as England’s chief medical officer faced questions from MPs about the inclusion of children in the Government’s Covid-19 vaccination programme.

About half of children have already had Covid-19 and the rest are more likely to get it without a vaccine, Chris Whitty suggested

He warned that “quite a lot of damage” could still occur over the winter months.

He told MPs: “Let’s make an assumption that the great majority of children who’ve not currently had Covid-19 are going to get it at some point over the next period.

“It won’t be necessarily in the next two or three months but they will get it sooner or later.”

As of August 16, the school bubble system was scrapped and only students who test positive for Covid-19 have to self-isolate.

The Chronicle have contacted Public Health England for more information.