Meole Brace School confirmed two members of staff and two students have contracted coronavirus, and it will conduct a circuit break closure from Monday until November 9 as a result.
The decision was made due to a significant number of staff and students having to self-isolate. This includes 15 members of the teaching staff, some of which are senior and middle leaders, as well as vital support staff such as first aiders.
The school has been working with Shropshire Council, Public Health England (PHE) Midlands, the Department of Education and the Central Shropshire Academy Trust, which it is a part of.
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Anyone from the school environment showing Covid-19 symptoms will be offered testing immediately.
Alan Doust, headteacher at Meole Brace School, said: “Since September the school has been fully reopened to all year groups and attendance has been excellent, and far above the national average. Our priority remains the health and wellbeing of all pupils and staff and that is why we have taken the difficult decision to close the school for the week after half term.
“All students will continue their education remotely working from home. We have developed an education contingency plan for such an occasion, and this will now go into place. The school will continue to work closely with Shropshire Council to monitor the situation, and we will continue to work within the guidance issued by the Department of Education.
“We are sorry for the disruption this will cause, and we hope to welcome everyone back on Monday, November 9.”
The Health Protection Team at PHE advised the school to conduct a deep clean, focusing on touch points like door handles, communal areas like toilets and dining halls, and anywhere else the individuals spent time, to reduce risk of further infection. This will be done during the time the school is closed. Parents, guardians and staff have been informed.
Rachel Robinson, Shropshire’s director of public health, said: “We want to reassure students and parents/carers that the risk of infection remains low. Meole Brace School has acted responsibly and taken all the necessary precautions to limit the spread of the virus, which in this case requires a temporary closure of the school.
“Anyone from the school community and their families who is symptomatic will be offered immediate testing.
"Contact tracing is underway and if anyone is identified as a contact of a confirmed case of Covid-19, a contact advisor from Test & Trace will be in touch with appropriate advice.
“We will continue to work in partnership with PHE and the school as we continue to manage this particular outbreak.
“Protecting the health of our population remains a priority, and at this time we would also like to remind everyone to follow social distancing advice to reduce their social interaction with other people.
“Good hand hygiene remains the best protection against the virus, including washing your hands more regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
“If you are showing coronavirus symptoms, or if you or any of your household are self-isolating, for example if you have been contacted by Test & Trace, you should stay at home – this is critical to staying safe and saving lives.”
Anyone with queries or concerns can call Shropshire Council’s education line on 03456789008. The support line is open from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. Press 5 for back to school enquiries.