Published: 17:10, 11 December 2020
| Updated: 18:19, 11 December 2020
A Covid-hit secondary school will be closed until the new year, after hundreds of pupils were sent home to self-isolate.
With five year groups already forced out of the classroom, Herne Bay High will be shut for the rest of the term.
In a letter sent to parents, principal Jon Boyes says he made the decision as the number of Covid-19 cases linked to the comprehensive continues to rise.
He writes: "As I am sure you are all now aware, the number of positive cases of coronavirus linked to the school is increasing significantly.
"As of today (December 11), we have Years 7, 8, 10, 11 and 12 in isolation at home.
"From Monday, December 14, all teaching for all year groups will be online.
"I can appreciate that this move may be alarming but I am sure you will agree that balancing up the health, safety and wellbeing of students and staff, and also supporting your families to stay safe over Christmas, is the right decision."
Mr Boyes says the decision was made in association with the local authority and officials from Public Health England and the Department for Education.
The school will, though, continue to run classes from its Bullockstone Road site for Year 9 children whose parents are key workers.
For the rest of the school, lessons will be delivered online before term ends next Friday.
"We have, over the previous months, developed a fantastic system to deliver high-quality education online via Microsoft Teams," Mr Boyes continues.
"We want to welcome as many students back in January as we possibly can and that means everyone has to play their part in protecting each other."
The school is the second in the town to have shut for the rest year - following Hampton Primary's closure towards the end of November.