Norfolk college has closed after Covid-19 outbreak
- Credit: Sonya Duncan
A Norfolk college has made the decision to send all of its pupils home after a "significant" Covid-19 outbreak.
Wymondham College has closed after multiple positive Covid-19 tests across all of its year groups.
This means from Wednesday, July 7, all learning will switch to online.
In an email sent out to parents the school said it is with a “heavy heart” that they have made this decision but that the safety of their students and staff is “priority”.
It wrote: “Over the past 48 hours the situation at the College has been characterised by rapid change. We have now had multiple positive tests for Covid-19 in all year groups, close contacts have all been informed.
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"We have liaised closely with the Norfolk County Council Outbreak Team, Sapientia Education Trust and the Department of Education and based on these discussions we have made the decision to close the College.
“This means that from Wednesday 7 July all learning will switch to Teams, and remaining boarders will need to return home, ideally tonight or tomorrow morning at the latest.
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“We have made this decision with a heavy heart as throughout this pandemic we have taken every possible precaution to ensure that safety has been our number one priority and I am very sorry that we are having to take these steps so close to the end of the academic year.”
Vulnerable and key worker children will still be able to attend during the day until the end of term, if registered.
In the email, the school continued: “We have already had a flurry of communication from parents telling us that bubbles and self-isolation has been scrapped by the Government.
“For clarity, the Secretary of State for Education announced today that bubbles will be ended from July 19 and the Health Secretary has announced that self-isolation for adults who are double-jabbed will be ended from August 16.
“In short, our actions are guided by the current DFE policy regarding Covid in schools.
“I fully understand that this is not the end of the academic year that anyone wanted but I hope you appreciate that the health and safety of our students and operational integrity of the College must be our priority.”
Meanwhile, year 8 pupils at Flegg High School are isolating after positive cases.
A spokesperson for the school said: “As a result of an increase in transmission locally, a small number of students across year groups have reported positive lateral flow test results. Those identified as close contacts have been asked to self-isolate.
“ In accordance with Public Health England guidance, we have also been asked to close the year 8 bubble. These students are now accessing the academy’s comprehensive remote learning offer from home to help limit transmission of the virus.
“Flegg is a rural school and as the majority of our students access the academy by bus we have also had to ask other children to self-isolate in accordance with the guidance we have been given.
“Having sought guidance from the local health protection teams, the school will also take steps to reintroduce face masks, minimise the number of face-to-face meetings at the school, and will no longer be holding face-to-face end of year events as had been planned. Whilst we are very disappointed that our events are no longer able to go ahead in person, it is essential that we take our duty of care to students, staff and our wider community seriously.
“As we come to the end of this Academic Year, our absolute priority remains the health, safety and wellbeing of our whole school community.”