Entire school year sent home to isolate after Covid outbreak in first week back

AN entire school year of pupils has been sent home to isolate after a Covid outbreak in the first week.

The 230 students at Budmouth Academy in Weymouth, Dorset, must return to to remote learning just days after going back to their classrooms.

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Some positive cases of Covid-19 were identified through the school's testing programme, with the the entire Year 10 returning home.

Children must now isolate for 10 days and won't be able to return to their classrooms until March 23.

It comes after millions of kids headed back to school for the first time in months on Monday as the first lockdown restrictions were eased.

Most secondary schools are phasing their return, with children being asked to take lateral flow tests to help curb the spread of Covid-19.

'GUTTED'

One parent of a Year 10 student at Budmouth said: "It is so disappointing for my daughter who was really excited to get back to school and see her friends after remote learning for more than two months.

"She is absolutely gutted. She has been so fed up during lockdown and now she is pretty upset to be isolating again – it is not good for children to be stuck at home.

"However, we do all understand that we have to stick to the rules and follow the guidelines."

Under the new rules, secondary pupils across the country are asked to take three tests at schol before switching to being tested twice a week at home.

It is so disappointing for my daughter who was really excited to get back to school. She is absolutely gutted.

The government has also "strongly recommended" by the government that pupils wear masks.

In a letter sent to parents of Year 10 pupils on Wednesday, principal David Herbert said the testing programme had identified "some positive cases of Covid-19 in Year 10".

He said: "We have followed the national guidance and been in communication with the Department for Education and Public Health England.

"Following a risk assessment, we have been advised to close Budmouth Academy to all Year 10 students and they are being instructed to remain at home and self-isolate for 10 days. They are not required to take any further action unless they develop symptoms, or feel unwell.

"It is very unfortunate that we have had to take this action so soon after returning, however, it is in the best interests of our school and wider community that we do so."

A spokesman for Public Health Dorset said they were aware of confirmed Covid cases at the academy.

The spokesman said: "The school is working closely with Public Health Dorset, Dorset Council and Public Health England South West to ensure that all necessary measures are being met.

"All close contacts of the confirmed case have been notified and advised to self-isolate for 10 days.

"Contacts of the confirmed case should get tested if they go on to develop symptoms. Even if people test negative, they must still self-isolate for 10 days."

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