Published: 18:52, 10 November 2020
| Updated: 08:07, 11 November 2020
An entire secondary school is to close following another positive case of Covid-19.
Dartford Science and Technology College, in Heath Lane, will be shut from tomorrow until November 23 after it had a third confirmed case of the virus.
The school announced yesterday it had asked 149 pupils and five staff members to self-isolate after a positive case in a Year 8 bubble and today said a child in Year 9 and Year 10 had also tested positive.
Principal Anne Davis said: “Today, after consulting with Public Health England (PHE), Kent County Council and Governors, I made the difficult decision to close the school after we were required to send more than half of our pupils home to self-isolate.
“On MondayYear 8 were sent home after a student in that year group bubble tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend. On tuesday Year 10 were also sent home after a positive case was reported in that year group. A further case in Year 9 was reported after 2pm today and so Year 9 were told at the end of the day not to come in from Wednesday.
“All Covid-positive students last came to school on Friday, November 6 and so the isolation period of 14 days means that all students can return on Monday, November 23. In total, more than 450 students out of 823 had already been asked to self-isolate by the end of school on Tuesday and with lowered staff numbers as well it made it untenable to keep the school open safely. Members of staff who work specifically within those bubbles, and those who had come into close contact with the affected pupils, had also been asked to self-isolate.
“I would like to stress this will not be a holiday for students or staff. Teachers will provide learning via Google Classroom and staff will support pupils with learning remotely. I would like to take this opportunity to thank my superb staff, our supportive parents and carers and of course our delightful students for their cooperation and understanding. I look forward to welcoming everyone back to school on November 23 when we will all continue to follow PHE guidance in terms of social distancing, handwashing and cleaning to minimise the spread of the virus and ensure we can all continue to learn and work in a safe environment.”
When it was last inspected by Ofsted in 2017, which concluded it was a 'good' school in all areas, there were more than 700 pupils aged 11 to 18 on the roll.