Schools have started sending entire year groups home for Christmas ahead of the Christmas holidays, according to reports.

Due to a rise in teachers forced to self-isolate, schools are beginning to send year groups home early, the National Education Union (NEU) has said.

What Is Boris Johnson’s guidance for schools?

It comes as the Prime Minister Boris Johnson introduced Plan B measures to tackle a concerning rise in the Omicron variant cases.

Mr Johnson has said he does not want students to be taken out of school before the end of term when asked about school nativities during Wednesday night's press conference.

He has recommended people take regular tests and continue to wash their hands to control the spread.

He told a Downing Street press conference: "We don't want children to be taken out of school before the end of term, not that there is very long to go now. We don't want nativity plays to be cancelled."

Schools struggle to find staff as Covid cases rise

Reports suggest some schools have closed down for a few days as a “circuit breaker” while others have taken the decision to send hundreds of pupils home until the start of the new term in January.

Kevin Courtney, the NEU's joint general secretary, told The Telegraph: "We are hearing there are schools where the number of staff who are having to isolate because they have tested positive is increasing and the schools cannot find supply staff.

"There are some schools that have had to close for some year groups because they haven't got the staff, and others worrying about when this will happen to them."

The Department for Education (DfE) insisted this week that face-to-face learning will continue and school attendance remains mandatory, saying “schools will not be closing early” as a result of Plan B restrictions in England.