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1,200 pupils self-isolate in Suffolk since start of school term

PUBLISHED: 07:30 22 October 2020 | UPDATED: 08:28 22 October 2020

Newmarket Academy was among the latest schools in Suffolk to report a positive Covid-19 case. Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

Newmarket Academy was among the latest schools in Suffolk to report a positive Covid-19 case. Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

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More than 1,200 school pupils and 160 teachers in Suffolk have had to self-isolate because of potential coronavirus risks, new data has revealed.

Suffolk County Council cabinet member for education Mary Evans said schools which had reported cases had shared teir experience to help other schools. Picture: GREGG BROWNSuffolk County Council cabinet member for education Mary Evans said schools which had reported cases had shared teir experience to help other schools. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Suffolk County Council figures showed that of the county’s 100,000 pupils in schools, 1,209 pupils had been required to self-isolate as of Wednesday, October 21.

Within those, 71 pupils and 63 teachers were confirmed to have had positive tests.

Schools countywide have put together their own Covid-19 outbreak plans and risk assessments, with some having entire classes or year groups having to self-isolate for up to 14 days when a student or member of staff tests positive.

Around 20 schools in the county have reported a positive case so far.

MORE: Suffolk schools report students self-isolating

Action plans have been tailored to the schools’ needs, with class sizes, pupil numbers and building layouts all having an impact on how schools are being kept Covid-secure.

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Councillor Mary Evans, cabinet member for children’s services, education and skills at Suffolk County Council said: “The schools have done an amazing job with a lot of young people coming in.

“Given that rates are rising in Suffolk people are being really careful and schools have done an incredible job to get back to normal.

“Those schools who have had Covid cases have been very frank about what happened and how they occurred, so everyone is learning and making changes to improve it.

“They are absolutely sharing [advice], particularly in rural schools where they are all supporting one another if they need extra support.”

The county council’s education team has been meeting with school leaders in the county twice a week to share advice and iron out problems, while the council has also been liaising with the Department for Education on latest government guidelines and sharing those with schools.

MORE: Supply teachers on standby for start of school year

Other support has included advice on risk assessments and bulk purchases of PPE over the summer to ensure schools had adequate supplies at the start of the school term in September.

Agencies providing supply teachers had also been put on standby over the summer to anticipate more demand at the start of the school year than normal in instances where staff have had to isolate.

Where schools report a positive case, Public Health Suffolk will work with those establishments to ensure correct procedures are carried out and schools can be cleaned safely.


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