Hartsdown year groups to self-isolate following positive Covid case

Hartsdown Academy

Year 9 and Year 11 students at Hartsdown Academy in Margate have been instructed to self-isolate until December 4 following  positive Covid cases.

Parents and carers were alerted to the latest bubble closure today (November 20). Year 8 and Year 10 Hartsdown Academy youngsters are already isolating. Year 7 students returned to school yesterday.

Head teacher Matt Tate said: “We are incredibly disappointed to be required by Public Health England to send further year groups home. We have organised the school into ‘year bubbles’ which means that if we have positive cases within a bubble that group has to go home.

“We miss our students and wish they were in school. Fortunately, we are able to offer a full-time virtual curriculum with lessons being delivered online in line with children’s normal timetable. We are pleased to report that the vast majority of our students are accessing these lessons.”

It comes on the heels of the closure of Year 10 and Year 8 at Royal Harbour Academy in Ramsgate where students have been asked to isolate until November 30 following positive Covid cases being confirmed at the school.

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. 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. Full closures until December 1 are also in place at Sandwich Tech and Sir Roger Manwood.

Today at a Kent Public Health meeting, director for public health Andrew Scott-Clark said school closures are decisions made by principals rather then Public Health England and are mostly based not just on positive cases but also on staffing ratios.

He added: “Schools have done an amazing job under very trying circumstances.

“Letters have gone out to schools asking that they ensure at least key worker children are kept in education. Schools closing has an impact on parents, particularly care and healthcare workers and also police, fire and rescue, prisons and essential infrastructure.”

He added that work has taken place to make sure school cases are effectively managed.