I am really sorry to have to write this having got this far without too much disruption to your children and you, our families due to Coronavirus; a feat I am certain that should be celebrated. I had hoped we could get through to half term without having any cases in school but today I have been notified of a positive PCR result by a member of staff. This has implications for every member of staff and every child in school.
Bubbles have been put in place to try to limit the need for entire closures and, if a positive case is confirmed in a child, this system works very well. However, when the positive case involves a staff member it can be a little more difficult. The definition of close contact is very strict and includes:
Face to face or skin on skin
Within 1m for a minute (over the course of a day)
Within 2m for 15 minutes(over the course of a day)
Discussion was had between school, Public Health and the DfE regarding close contact and it was agreed that it was impossible to guarantee that multiple staff working in every bubble had not been in close contact therefore, for the health and safety of all children and staff in school, and their families, the decision has been taken to close next week.
We appreciate that this may cause inconvenience to families but we need to be very clear about this, it has been done to limit the potential spread of the virus and to prevent others from potentially becoming ill.
The inconvenience you may be experiencing is also being experienced by school staff many of whom are now needing to self-isolate – they have families that are impacted by this, they have some of the same childcare issues you may be facing and they are also very worried for their friend and colleague.
Those staff and children who have been in close contact with the person who has tested positive will receive an attached letter and told to self-isolate until 12th February 2021. Details of what to do if your child develops symptoms are included in the letter.
The decision to close a school is not taken by one person, it is taken in consultation with Public Health England and the DfE and it is certainly not one taken lightly or on a whim.
The school will remain closed to all until Tuesday 23rd February 2021, when we reopen after half term, unless there are any further cases confirmed.
A formal letter has been sent to affected parents from the DFE/PHE but it can read a little cold I wanted to write a personal letter to you all.
Please contact us if you have questions but please be aware, I may not be able to answer all of your questions due to issues of confidentiality.
Please stay safe and take care,