School to shut due to staff member contracting coronavirus

Old Buckenham High School (OBHS). Picture: OBHS

Old Buckenham High School (OBHS). Picture: OBHS - Credit: Archant

A school in Norfolk has announced it will not be open today, September 7, due to a staff member contracting coronavirus.

Old Buckenham High School posted the notice on its website on Sunday night, apologising for the late notice and saying it had only just become aware of the situation.

Their statement said: “Due to a member of staff testing positive for Covid 19, Old Buckenham High School will be closed on Monday 7th. We apologise for the late delivery of this information, however, we have only very recently become aware of the situation. More information to follow.”

Head teacher Andrew Fell said the decision to close was “regrettable” but that the school was following “established protocols”.

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He said: “While it is regrettable to close the school on Monday, this incident has shown that systems are in place and working to quickly deal with any issues related to Covid-19.

“The school will be deep cleaned on Monday and decisions about re-opening conveyed to parents/careers as soon as practicable.”

Jonathan Taylor, CEO of the Sapientia Education Trust, added: “Whilst we regret the further disruption we are working with colleagues in Public Health England to take all necessary steps to plan the re-opening of the school.

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“I would like to thank parents, students and staff for their ongoing support.

“I understand that all contacts have been informed about next steps and that no pupils at the school have been identified through the contact tracing process.”

The news came hours before the majority of pupils in Norfolk will return to school, many of them for the first time in several months.#

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Government guidance doesn’t stipulate that schools should automatically close should a member of staff contract coronavirus and that action will be taken following discussion with Public Health England (PHE).

However, if a school staff member tests positive, the rest of their class or group within their childcare or education setting should be sent home and advised to self-isolate for 14 days. The other household members of that wider class or group do not need to self-isolate unless the child, young person or staff member they live with in that group subsequently develops symptoms.

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