Hundreds of children told to isolate after eight schools confirm coronavirus cases
- Credit: Zakh Gent
Multiple year groups have been told to self-isolate after Covid-19 cases have been confirmed across eight secondary and primary schools in Weston, Worle, Churchill, Highbridge and Cheddar.
Milton Park and Castle Batch primaries in Weston have recorded cases of coronavirus, as well as those being confirmed at Worle and Priory Community Schools.
Academies including Hans Price, The King Alfred School, in Highbridge, and the Kings of Wessex, in Cheddar, as well as Churchill Academy and Sixth Form have also sent hundreds of students home to self-isolate following positive coronavirus cases.
The Office for National Statistics' latest infection survey, published on Friday, shows secondary-age pupils now have the highest rate of infection of any age group. The government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) also found children aged 12-16 played a ‘significantly higher role’ in introducing coronavirus into homes after schools reopened to all students.
Chairman of the National Education Union North Somerset branch, John Reddiford, said: “We are pleased SAGE has recognised the role schools and school-age children play in transmission of the virus and we now call on the government to play a much more active role to suppress the transmission of Covid within schools.
“The situation is untenable and widespread disruption will continue unless government takes steps to get coronavirus under control in schools."
Years eight, 10 and 11 at Worle Community School Academy will return to school on Monday, and those in year nine from Churchill Academy and Sixth Form can also return to class on the same date.
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Pupils in years four and five at Castle Batch Primary School Academy will return to school on Monday, year one on Tuesday, reception on Thursday (November 26), and year six on November 30.
All students in year 11 at King Alfred School Academy will return to school on Wednesday (November 25), and pupils in year five at Milton Park can attend school again on November 30, with those in its year 6 group returning to attend class on December 1.
Forty-nine students in year eight at Priory Community School Academy can return to school on Monday, year 10 on Tuesday and year seven on Friday.
Year 10 at The Kings of Wessex Academy can also return on Friday and those in year 11 can continue in-class learning on Tuesday.
A 'small number of staff and students' have tested positive for coronavirus at Hans Price Academy, which, like all other schools, is following government guidelines, protocols, and notification processes set out by Public Health England.