Whole school closes after students show symptoms of coronavirus
An entire primary school has temporarily closed after pupils showed symptoms of coronavirus.
Freshwaters in Harlow, Essex, said they took the decision on Tuesday after a ‘number of’ children became unwell.
In a statement, the school said: ‘Freshwaters Primary Academy was closed yesterday due to a number of pupils displaying symptoms similar to those of COVID-19.
‘We felt it prudent to take a cautious approach and have asked pupils and staff to remain at home, pending the results of testing; during this time we are undertaking a deep clean.
‘As with all schools up and down the country, BMAT is following strict government guidelines and procedures and is prepared to respond quickly as and when there are suspected cases of Covid-19 in our schools. Pupils are working in bubbles, as advised, to enable as little disruption to whole school cohorts as possible.
‘Having worked remotely for the last six months, our teachers and families are easily able to switch from being taught in schools to learning from home via the technology and systems we have place in the event of a bubble or whole school closure due to a case of Covid-19.
‘As a Trust, we are doing everything in our power to protect the health of our children, staff and parents. We look forward to welcoming all children back into school when we know it is safe to do so.’
Many pupils returned to schools for the first time this week.
Since lockdown in March, they had only been open for children of key workers, and those considered vulnerable.
But many have been hit with problems since reopening. Some have closed their doors just days after reopening, while others have told whole classes and year groups to self-isolate for two weeks following confirmed cases.
Julie McCulloch, head of policy at the Association of School and College Leaders, said it is likely that the number of students and school staff who have had to self-isolate at home and are awaiting test results ‘will be into the thousands’.
Many leaders told the union that teachers and pupils were experiencing problems with booking tests locally and were frequently being directed to test centres long distances away, including Inverness.
A Government spokesman said: ‘Testing capacity is the highest it has ever been, but we are seeing a significant demand for tests. It is vital that children and school staff only get a test if they develop coronavirus symptoms.
‘If a positive case is confirmed in a school, swift action is being taken to ask those who have been in close contact to self-isolate, and Public Health England’s local health protection teams continue to support and advise schools in this situation.
‘Children who are self-isolating will receive remote education. We will continue to work with schools to ensure all appropriate steps are taken to keep pupils and staff safe.’
Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected]
For more stories like this, check our news page.
Source: Read Full Article