The announcement was made to parents of Ancaster C of E School on Sunday after receiving news that a child in Year 1 and a puil in Year 4 had both been confirmed to have coronavirus.
According to a statement put out by the school’s headteacher Sam Eden, it has meant “immediate closure” of the Year 1 and Year 4 bubbles sending all relevant staff and children home for a period of self isolation for those that could have come into close contact with the person who has tested positive. The children and staff should be able to return to school on Tuesday, September 22. The affected families were contacted personally.
“The child self-isolating is the only member of the family who needs to have their movements restricted,” said Mr Eden. “All other members of the family can move around freely as they would usually.”
He added: “Steps have been taken to ensure that we have responded in line with national protocols from our local health protection team as well as Public Health England.
“For all other year groups, there is no need to keep your child away from school on the grounds of this information and without the presentation of a primary Covid-19 symptom, you also do not need to arrange for your child to be tested. “Wider parent groups should note that the children who are now beginning their period of self-isolation also do not need to arrange for a test to be undertaken as this should only be arranged if a person begins to show symptoms.”
He said some parents were concerned that their child may have come into contact with a person from another bubble. But he said the health protection team had been very clear that they are only dealing with ‘close contacts’ (based on an individual who has been in direct contact with someone diagnosed with Covid-19) and not ‘contacts of contacts’ as this could be potentially never ending in determining the amount of people who have been in contact with one another.
Mr Eden said: “Right now, we must act with the information we do know and that is that the children in the affected bubbles and staff have been in contact with someone who is Covid-19 positive. Our first next step is to see if there is any transmission of the virus for those groups only and ensure that potential transmission is stopped rather than being continuously spread.”
He said to the affected families: “I do not underestimate the anxiety and worry that receiving this news will have caused and I am grateful to our parent body for responding in such a caring and understanding manner.”
He said he understood that it will feel worrying to hear of a positive case within his school, but all necessary steps have been taken to respond to this information and school is open for all unaffected year groups as normal.
Rather than needing to get a test, parents were reminded that the self-isolation period will allow for any symptoms to become evident.
On the basis of symptoms presenting themselves (persistent cough, high temperature of 37.8C or above or loss of taste/smell), then a test should be sought and you should inform the school of the outcome. If no symptoms present during this period of self-isolation, then there has not been a transmission of the virus to your child and they would be able to return to school as usual on September 2.
All learning will move online in the same manner used during the national lockdown. Class teachers will be in touch via Parenthub and Microsoft TEAMs to help manage the work that is being set for the children while they are at home.
Mr Eden added in his message to parents in the affected year groups: “I understand the disruptive nature of what we are asking of you and I wholeheartedly apologise for any inconvenience that this might cause. I do want to reiterate the point I made above about how parents responded when called as it was lovely to hear parents being so incredibly supportive and kind when the message being delivered is one that was so unexpected.”