Garlinge Primary School has shut the premises to staff and pupils until November 9 following the spread of positive Covid cases at the site.
There were understood to be more than 15 positive cases, staff and pupils, last week with more notifications since the weekend. Yesterday (October 27) the school was notified of a confirmed case in Year 5 and is currently aware of 32 positive cases.
Head teacher James Williams has contacted parents and carers to say the school will be providing home learning while the building undergoes a deep clean and fogging.
He wrote: “The figure provided by the school (15) has risen slightly over the weekend and early part of this week.
“Ever since our first positive case on Monday, October 16 I have been working alongside my senior team to notify families of our class bubbles that need to close and children and adults to self-isolate as per government guidance.”
The initial cases were in Years 2 and 6. Mr Williams says the school is liaising with Public Health England, Kent County Council and other bodies.
He adds: “Clearly the number of cases that we have seen is hugely concerning for us as a school community and as a result I wanted to take action that will ensure any transmission within the school grounds is completely eradicated.
“To that effect…we will be moving next week’s learning to Home Learning for a period of one week before returning to school on Monday, November 9.”
He added: “Closing the school is not a decision that any of us have come to lightly and I know it will cause disruption for many of our families but the safety of pupils must come first and this will be the most effective way of dealing with this current outbreak.”
Free School Meal vouchers will be provided to eligible families during the closure.
Mr Williams said: “It is without doubt the most difficult week I have experienced at Garlinge but I am also confident that we will be able to once again replicate the successful learning that we had enjoyed from lockdown in March until the beginning of last week.”
According to government data, as of today (October 28) there have been 1,298 positive covid cases in Thanet. Latest data shows 165 cases in the seven days from October 15-21, a rise of 74 on the previous week. The infection rate is 93 per 100,000 (as of October 23) which remains below the national average. Government data says 163 Covid-related deaths have been recorded.
This is just about inevitable. I have no doubt at all that more schools will follow suit.
Sending children back to school in the middle of a worsening CV situation was crazy.
So your solution is to close the school until the Corona-virus is eradicated?
Not having a circuit break total lock down whilst schools are off for half term is a missed opportunity by our government which will come back to haunt us with over a thousand deaths per day by Christmas.
The students were to receive immunisations for the flu on November 2, 2020 by Kent Community Health but will not receive them due to Mr. Williams shutting down the school. Forget the flu immunisations, deep clean and “fog” the school according to Mr. Williams.