Published: 16:57, 27 November 2020
| Updated: 16:59, 27 November 2020
A primary school has closed after a spike in coronavirus cases - and it could stay shut until the new year.
Hampton Primary School in Herne Bay has decided to close to all children for two weeks, until December 14.
But in a letter sent to parents today, head teacher Yvonne Nunn said the date "remains fluid depending on any further confirmed cases".
"It may be that this closure is extended until the end of term," she added.
She said the closure is "essential to...hopefully allow our families to have a healthy Christmas."
It comes after almost 90% of voters in a KentOnline poll said they want to see schools shut early this Christmas, to reduce the risk of pupils having to self-isolate over the holiday.
Earlier today, a member of staff in Hampton's Foundation Stage tested positive for Covid-19, and Ms Nunn announced any pupils that had been in contact with them must stay at home and self-isolate for 14 days.
Elsewhere in Herne Bay, years 4 and 6 at Briary Primary in Greenhill have been forced to isolate from today after two pupils tested positive.
But after being notified of further positive cases within Hampton Primary, meaning a total of three year group bubbles would have to self-isolate, bosses have decided to close the entire school.
Ms Nunn wrote to parents: "I can assure you we have implemented every possible measure to keep our community safe but following further consultation with Public Health the best course of action is to close the school for a period of two weeks in order to minimise contact and risks to our Hampton family.
"The safety of Hampton is at the forefront of all we do and this decision has not been taken lightly."
Any children in year group bubbles that have been required to self-isolate must still do so.
Children in Year 3 are required to isolate until December 7, those in Year 5 must isolate until December 9, and those in Foundation Stage until December 10.
Ms Nunn added: "It is extremely important during this two-week period that parents and carers notify us of any further confirmed positive cases so that we can continue to track the number of cases within our school."
Pupils will be expected to access remote learning online while the school is shut, while free school meal vouchers will be emailed to families that are entitled to receive them.
"I understand how incredibly difficult this may be for some families but this circuit breaker is now essential to keep each other safe and hopefully allow our families to have a healthy Christmas with safe bubbles," said Ms Nunn.
"Thank you for your understanding. Please continue to stay safe and contact us if you need support in any way."