Newlands primary asks 104 pupils to isolate as precaution following two positive Covid tests

Newlands Primary School

Another Thanet school has had to put in self-isolation measures following positive Covid tests.

Newlands primary has asked 104 pupils and some staff to self-isolate until November 20 after two children, in Year 3 and in Year 6, had positive tests confirmed.

Executive headteacher Sam Atkinson said: “I can confirm that unfortunately two children who are in Years 3 and 6 respectively have tested positive for COVID-19. The school is following Public Health England (PHE) guidance and as a result the 104 pupils and our members of staff in those Year Group bubbles have been asked to self-isolate at home until the 20th November.

“Children are receiving work at home and staff are supporting them with learning remotely.

“The rest of the school remains open with staff and pupils continuing to follow PHE guidance in terms of social distancing, handwashing and cleaning to minimise the spread of the virus and ensure everyone can continue to learn and work in a safe environment.

“We would like to thank staff, parents and carers and our pupils for their support and understanding during this difficult time.”

Newlands, which up until now had not recorded any positive cases, is just the latest in a string of isle schools to have to ask pupils and staff to self-isolate.

Further schools taking precautionary measures

In the last week a small number of positive cases have been recorded at Upton Juniors, Chilton Primary and Ramsgate Arts Primary. Action has been taken in accordance with Public Health England (PHE) and the Department for Education (DfE) guidelines.

At RAPS, Year 2 pupils have been advised to isolate after two children tested positive for Covid 19. At Chilton, one class in Year 2 and one Class in Year 4 are learning from home this week after siblings, one in each class, tested positive. At Upton, a positive case of a Year 6 pupil was notified during the weekend.

During half term week in October a female teaching assistant at Upton tested positive although in that scenario children were on school holiday and were therefore not exposed to the staff member who is in the second week of 14-day isolation.

Michaela Lewis, Executive Head Teacher at Viking Academy Trust which covers the schools, stressed that all three schools are operating normally with strict health and safety guidelines in full operation.

Other schools sending out messages to parents/carers over the weekend include King Ethelbert in Birchington who say a Year 7 pupil has tested positive and students that have had close contact in that year bubble have been asked to isolate until November 23. It is understood students in Year 12 have also been asked to isolate.

At Sandwich Tech Year 8 students are being asked to isolate after a confirmed positive result for a pupil. The year group will not return to school until November 20.

There are also understood to be new positive cases from Dane Court, St Saviours, Northdown, Birchington, St George’s and Newington.

943 Stagecoach bus

A further message to parents this weekend has come from St George’s school and says a pupil from another school has tested positive for Covid but had used the 943 Stagecoach bus (Cliffsend to Dane Court and St Georges). The message says: “If your child travelled on the 943 bus on Thursday or Friday of last week then we have been advised that they must self isolate for 14 days.”

A spokesman for Stagecoach said “We have a very controlled process for dealing with bus sanitation. Dane Court Grammar School informed us on Sunday night that a pupil using the 943 service on Thursday and Friday last week tested positive for the virus over the weekend. We identified the buses used on that service and they have been subject to a rigorous interior clean.

“We have an enhanced routine cleaning plan which includes daily sanitizing of all touch points, surfaces wiped and floors mopped. A wider-scope interior clean is carried out on a 14-day cycle with a comprehensive deep clean completed every 28 days. Each one of our buses has its own vehicle history file – so we keep accurate records of all vehicle cleaning to check and verify that nothing is missed.”

The 943 is a designated school only service.

Cases since September

The schools are just the latest in a long line that have had to put self-isolation plans in place after students or staff confirmed positive tests.

Others that have been affected since schools fully reopened in September include Chatham & Clarendon, Northdown, Hartsdown, Newington, Royal Harbour Academy, Minster primary, Bromstone, Dame Janet Primary in Ramsgate, Garlinge primary, St Anthony’s School, Ellington infants,  Dane Court, Cliftonville primary, St George’s CofE and St Ethelbert’s primary.