22 September 2020| | 3 min read
North Fawdon school closes for two weeks
Following an outbreak of COVID-19 at North Fawdon Primary School, the decision has been made to close the school for a period of 14 days.
Newcastle City Council officers from Public Health and Education and Skills had been liaising with SMART Multi-Academy Trust, which manages the school, since cases were first identified.
After several members of staff returned positive test results and an increasing number of asymptomatic cases among pupils were identified, it was decided the safest option was to close the school.
A Newcastle City Council spokesperson said: “Public Health and Education officers have been in close contact with North Fawdon Primary School since being made aware of a number of positive COVID-19 cases at the school.
“In order to protect the health and safety of all pupils and staff it has been decided to close North Fawdon Primary School from Tuesday September 22 until October 5 and minimise the risk of further transmissions of the virus.
“So far, seven members of staff and a number of pupils have tested positive for the virus and are now self-isolating in line with Public Health guidance.
“These measures relate to North Fawdon Primary School only and all other schools in Newcastle remain open.
“We have worked closely with all schools throughout the pandemic and will continue to support all educational settings in the city.
“There is no need for individuals who have not already been identified as contacts to self-isolate, but anyone who develops symptoms of COVID-19 should immediately self-isolate and seek a test.”
Colin Lofthouse, Chief Executive Officer at SMART, said: “Following advice from Public Health and education officers at the city council we have taken the decision to close North Fawdon Primary School until Monday 5 October.
“This is in response to a number of positive cases of Covid-19 being identified among both staff and pupils over recent days.
“The numbers of staff cases has meant we are not able to maintain a safe staffing level and, as many of the pupils who have tested positive were not displaying any symptoms, it is also becoming increasingly difficult to identify those who may have the virus and prevent further spread.
“Therefore the safest thing to do to protect our pupils and staff is to close the school for a period of two weeks. During this time we will carry out a further deep clean of the school ready for pupils returning.
“Parents have been informed and we would like to thank them for their understanding and support in these very difficult circumstances.”
People are urged to do their bit by adhering to the local restrictions and following the national ‘Hands, Face, Space’ guidance to help prevent further spread of the virus.
Stay up to date with COVID-19 developments in Newcastle at www.newcastle.gov.uk/coronavirus