Schools given green light to operate as usual following half term Covid cases

Upton school

Upton Junior School in Broadstairs says it is operating as usual following the positive testing of a female teaching assistant during the half term break.

A message sent to parents and carers today (November 3) says one staff member tested positive for the virus during half term and, as a result of contact during the school break, some other staff members are now isolating.

Head of School Darci Arthur said: “Our children were on school holiday and were therefore not exposed to our colleague who is currently isolating.

“No teaching bubbles or year groups and classes have been affected.

“Fortunately Upton has a large staff whose members are professionally flexible enough to cover absence in normal circumstances and during the current pandemic at the moment.

“Upton’s health and safety response during the current pandemic is in line with Department for Education and Public Health England advice.

“In-school hygiene management of pupils, staff and any visitors are of the highest standard that we can operate and our cleanliness standards and covid-safe awareness are reviewed daily to ensure the safest possible learning and working environment in these challenging times.”

Parents and carers with children at Cliftonville primary also received notification this week that five staff members tested positive during the half term break.

The message says: “I have taken appropriate advice from Pubic Health England and due to the timings of events no further action is needed by the school, as it was during the half term holiday.

“I can assure you there had been no contact with children or with other staff and the school has been thoroughly cleaned, as it always would be during the half term holiday.”

King Ethelbert School also had three students with positive tests over the half term. The affected students are in self-isolation and the school says Public Health England advice is that there is no need for classes or year bubbles to isolate.

Newington primary also had a pupil test positive. Head teacher Cliff Stokes said the youngster has been away from school since October 20 so no further action is required.

Government guidelines say a person who tests positive should isolate for 10 days while anyone who has been in close contact with them must self-isolate for 14 days.

Close contact is deemed to be:

  • Direct close contacts – face-to-face contact with an infected individual for any length of time, within one metre, including being coughed on, a face-to-face conversation or unprotected physical contact (skin-to-skin).
  • Proximity contacts – extended close contact (within one or two metres for more than 15 minutes) with an infected individual.
  • Travelling in a small vehicle, like a car, with an infected person.


  1. Re Covid in Teaching Assistants.
    Why are THEY in particular catching Covid.
    Are THEY being careless and irresponsible?
    It certainly warrants investigation.
    When were they diagnosed positive?
    Did they Catch it during term time or in term break?
    Lots of questions require answering.
    If THEY are being careless, then responsible action by the schools needs to be taken.
    Putting other People,Staff and above all Children is Not Acceptable.

  2. As one of the’they’ I can tell you in no way whatsoever were any TAs being ‘irresponsible. How dare you even imply this. Staff concerned where I contracted it were all on a first aid course the last day of term, ran in school by an outside resource coming in. We all got positive results in a half term that was ruined with illness, worry and we certainly didn’t bring it on ourselves. We were emailed by the company running course informing us we had been exposed, and we all certainly were. As a rule we go in to school every day, with the risk of catching it from each other, the children or the outside resources that are still being allowed to visit and burst our bubbles. Extra work, extra worry and now 5 members of our staff damned for doing our job? No, we didn’t have any contact with any children that day, and luckily it was the last day of term but I am gobsmacked to see your attitude.
    I’m fine by the way, if you were concerned about the actual health of these ‘irresponsible’TA’s (at least 3 hold other roles by the way) I wouldn’t wish C19 on anyone, it pulls the rug from under you but once my whole family have come out of isolation to return to their lives, and I feel 100% I will return to work in lock down.

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