Coronavirus outbreak forces Norfolk school to close

John Grant School in Caister-on-Sea. Photo: Archant

John Grant School in Caister-on-Sea. Photo: Archant - Credit: Archant

A Norfolk special school has closed after six positive coronavirus cases meant just three classes were left in attendance.

Pam Ashworth headmistress of John Grant school, Caister, said the school was in close contact with t

Pam Ashworth headmistress of John Grant school, Caister, said the school was in close contact with the local Outbreak Management Team. Photo: Supplied - Credit: Archant

John Grant School, in Caister-on-Sea, will be closed next week to give everyone a chance to “re-group, ensure everything is cleaned and break any chain of infection”.

In a statement posted to the school’s website, head teacher Pam Ashworth said: “Sadly, we now have six members of staff with coronavirus, and are awaiting test results on quite a few others who have developed concerning symptoms.

“The result of this would have been having just three classes in the school left open and one partially open.

“Bearing in mind the vulnerability of our pupils and some of our staff, we have decided to shut the school completely for a week... and will hopefully be able to re-open on Monday November 23.”

Mrs Ashworth added: “All the teachers have been preparing work for pupils to try and continue at home in case this situation arose.

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“If you receive work from school for your child, please have a go with them, but we do understand that many of our pupils struggle to do “school things” at home.

“There is therefore no pressure to complete the work, so please do not worry.

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“If however, your child does do something (whether planned by school or not) that you feel is worth letting us know about, we would be delighted to hear about it.”

Mrs Ashworth also said that the school remains in close contact with Norfolk’s Outbreak management Centre regarding next steps.

Earlier in the week, the school had taken the decision to stay open after two confirmed cases of coronavirus were recorded and around five others self-isolating.Mrs Ashworth said on Friday that this was out of duty to the school’s “vulnerable pupils”.

But, speaking on Sunday, she said staff and parents were now getting anxious about the situation and it made sense for everyone to “take a break”.

Between November 4 and November 10, Norfolk recorded an infection rate of 143 cases per 100,000 people - a new high.

However, the level of transmission is still considerably lower than the rate in England, which is 263.7 cases per 100,000 people for the seven days up to November 10.

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