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Bradfields Academy in Chatham to close for a week after large Covid-19 'outbreak'

A school will shut its doors for a week after a large Covid-19 outbreak forced more than half of its staff and pupils to isolate.

Pupils at Bradfields Academy in Walderslade have been ordered to stay home for a week from Monday after an increase in the number of positive cases.

Bradfields Academy in Churchill Avenue, Walderslade has been closed. Picture: Steve Crispe
Bradfields Academy in Churchill Avenue, Walderslade has been closed. Picture: Steve Crispe

The special needs school said it needed to take "necessary precautions" to prevent the spread of illness.

It comes after the majority of staff and more than 120 students at the school in Churchill Avenue were told to self-isolate.

An increase in staff being asked to isolate has meant there are no medical teams available on site and insufficient numbers to cover teaching of classes.

All students will now revert back to home learning and will not be permitted to return until Monday, July 5 at the earliest.

Parents and carers were notified of the decision in a letter.

Bradfields Academy in Walderslade. Photo: Google
Bradfields Academy in Walderslade. Photo: Google

In the communication, Principal Marie Sweetlove wrote: "At this time, we believe that is the right step to take for the health and safety of our students, our employees, and the community at large – due to the ‘outbreak’ we have no medical team available on site, we do not have sufficient staff to cover the teaching of classes and do not have staff to cover all break and lunch time duties.

"This means that we are unable to safely keep the academy open.

"We will continue to communicate with parents via regular updates over the next week should more cases be identified and to facilitate access to remote education."

She added: "Because of the magnitude of this decision, I ask that should you have any queries or concerns that these are directed to your child’s community engagement support leaders or that you send an email to the academy office.

"We’ll continue monitoring the situation and are working directly with Public Health England to ensure that all health and safety measures continue to be of the highest standard.

"We will ensure that further deep cleans and antibacterial fogging takes place throughout next week so that students and staff can be reassured that they are returning to a safe environment."

The Academy is run by the Fortis Trust and caters for pupils between the ages of four and 19 with complex learning disabilities and needs.

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