Thousands Of Pupils Across England And Wales Sent Home Due To Coronavirus

It comes amid a jump in coronavirus cases in the UK, with 2,988 new cases reported on Sunday and 2,948 on Monday.

Thousands of pupils across England and Wales have been sent home because of local coronavirus infections just a week into the new school year following a spate of coronavirus cases.

It comes amid a bump in Covid-19 infections in the UK, with 2,988 new coronavirus cases reported by the government on Sunday – the largest increase in more than three months.

Teachers told HuffPost UK at the end of August that the government’s back to school plans were “fragile” and could see entire classes, year groups or even whole schools forced back into self-isolation within days.

Unions have said disruption in schools is likely to continue over the coming months, branding it “impossible” to completely eliminate the risk of transmission in schools.

In Kent, the whole of Year 6 at St Peter’s Primary in Sittingbourne was asked to self-isolate for 14 days after a pupil tested positive for Covid-19.

All 160 Year 9 pupils at St Augustine’s Catholic College in Trowbridge, Wiltshire, are being asked to self-isolate after a student in that year group tested positive for Covid-19.

The Liverpool Echo reported that as many as 200 children and 21 members of staff across the city were in self-isolation following Covid-19 cases at five schools.

In Suffolk, the entire 1,276-pupil Samuel Ward Academy was closed on Monday on the advice of Public Health England after five members of teaching staff tested positive for Covid-19. Another two members of staff are still waiting for their test results.

The school in Haverhill said it had closed as a “precautionary measure” and was hoping to reopen on Tuesday.

The 800-strong JCB Academy in Rocester, Staffordshire, closed on Friday after a pupil tested positive for coronavirus. Some 100 pupils were told to self-isolate for 14 days after coming into contact with the student.

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Old Buckenham High School in Norfolk, which has 606 pupils, was shut on Monday after a staff member tested positive for Covid-19.

Meanwhile, 90 students in Year 3 at East Park Academy in Wolverhampton are self-isolating for a fortnight after a positive case at the school, according to the Express & Star local paper.

And eight classes at the Castle Rock School in Coalville, Leicestershire, were told not to come in on Monday after a staff member tested positive for the virus.

It is a similar picture in Wales, where at least eight schools are believed to have been affected by coronavirus since reopening.

On Monday, Cardiff Council confirmed that 30 pupils at Ysgol Bro Edern, a secondary school in the city, had been asked to self-isolated after a positive case at the school the day before.

Headteacher Iwan Pritchard said the school had contacted all pupils within the student’s class bubble “as quickly as possible” and additional cleaning had taken place.

A class of 21 pupils at St Gwladys Primary School in Bargoed, Caerphilly, were also told to self-isolate for two weeks after a member of staff tested positive for Covid-19.

Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), said it was “impossible” to eliminate entirely the risks of Covid-19 transmission in schools or the wider community.

“It is therefore likely that disruption will continue over the coming weeks and months,” he said.

“This shows the necessity for a robust contingency plan in case students are unable to take GCSE and A-level exams next summer or their preparation is significantly disrupted.

“The government must take action now on such a back-up plan before time runs out.”


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