More school ‘bubble’ closures as Covid cases are confirmed

Royal Harbour Academy (upper site)

All Year 10 students at Royal Harbour Academy in Ramsgate have been asked to isolate until November 30 following positive Covid cases being confirmed at the school.

A message has been sent to parents/carers saying: “There have unfortunately been several confirmed cases of coronavirus within Year 10, starting with a number of cases on Friday, November 13.

“The school has followed Public Health England instructions and ensured that students who may have been exposed to the virus have self-isolated.

“This has meant that the vast majority of the year group are now self-isolating and I have taken the decision to ask the rest of Year 10 to self-isolate until November 30.”

Year 8 at the school is also self-isolating.

Head teacher Simon Pullen said: “Last week the school had several confirmed cases of coronavirus in both Year 10 and Year 8. Initial guidance from the Department for Education and Public Health England meant students who were close contacts of those who had tested positive had to self-isolate.

“Following two more confirmed cases we have decided, in consultation with the DfE and PHE, to send both year groups home to self-isolate until November 30. This will hopefully ensure that any chance of infection within the rest of the Years 10 and 8 will be minimised.

“The school has followed all the necessary guidelines and regulations to reduce the risk of catching coronavirus such as: separating year groups, having hand sanitising facilities in all classrooms and extra cleaning staff working throughout the day and no other year groups have been affected.

“Students will be able to access their work remotely, or through paper packs if they prefer, and we look forward to seeing them all back in school on November 30.

“I would like to thank all of our parents, students and staff for their ongoing support of the school in these uncertain times.”

Parents and carers with children in Year 4 at Holy Trinity & St John’s Primary School in Margate have also been notified of a positive case in the year bubble.

The pupils from that group must now self-isolate until November 30.

Ursuline College has had to close to all students

This week Ursuline College in Westgate put in place a full closure until December 1 due to Covid cases resulting in staff  and student absences.

A letter to parents and carers sent on November 16 says: “We are writing to inform you of our decision to close Ursuline College to all pupils for a two week period to coincide with the remainder of the national lockdown.

“This is not a decision we have taken lightly.

“However, we continue to see an acceleration of positive Covid cases in our district and we have a very significant number of staff who are absent from school due to the need to self-isolate (the majority as a result of contact from NHS Track and Trace).

“It is no longer possible to run the school effectively and safely, hence the need for this decision.”

Image Nick Smith / Sandwich Technology School (wikimedia commons)

Sandwich Tech and Sir Roger Manwood’s in Sandwich are also fully closed until December 1.

Year 8 at Hartsdown Academy in Margate has also been sent home  following a confirmed Covid case. Students in the year group will return on November 30.

Year 9 students at St George’s in Broadstairs are also being asked to remain at home until November 30. A letter to parents/carers says: “This is due to an increase in infections in this year group, the need to ensure we can reduce any likely spread of the virus amongst the school population and due to increasing staff pressures.”

SureStart children’s centre Millmead is also closed until November 30 due to Covid cases.

This month has seen positive cases confirmed at schools stretching from Ursuline in Westgate to Newland, Ramsgate Arts Primary and Chilton in Ramsgate, Upton in Broadstairs, St Gregory’s in Margate and King Ethelbert in Birchington.

There have also been cases at Sandwich Tech, Dane Court, St Saviours, Northdown, Birchington, St George’s and Newington.

Since schools fully reopened in September there have been cases at almost all sites in Thanet including 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.

Thanet mum’s call for better parent guidance as positive Covid cases rise in schools