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Coronavirus Kent: Newington Primary School teacher in self-isolation as precautionary measure


A primary school has thanked parents for their support after a teacher went into self-isolation, despite not showing coronavirus symptoms.

The teacher, based at Newington Church of England Primary School, near Sittingbourne, started 14 days of quarantine on Tuesday after government guidelines about travel from Italy were updated.

The teacher is a member of staff at Newington Church of England Primary School, School Lane, Newington, near Sittingbourne
The teacher is a member of staff at Newington Church of England Primary School, School Lane, Newington, near Sittingbourne

Head of school, Simon Krafft, stressed the decision was taken out of "an abundance of caution", adding the teacher had not been in contact with anyone with the virus and had not been to a high-risk area.

A letter was sent to parents yesterday by executive head teacher Tara Deevoy to reassure people the teacher was not unwell but was following Public Health England guidelines.

Mrs Deevoy added there were currently no plans for the school to close as a result of fears over the potential spread of coronavirus.

Mr Krafft added: "We decided to share this with parents, not to make anyone panic but to reassure everyone that we are taking a cautious approach.

"The parent reaction and support for this course of action has been much appreciated and shows how everyone in the school community, staff and parents are pulling together to keep children safe.

Head of school, Simon Krafft
Head of school, Simon Krafft

"We are in the fortunate position of having additional teachers who can cover classes, so it is business as usual."

He added the school is following national guidance which includes additional handwashing and regularly cleaning surfaces.

The letter said: "I’m sure that you will support the school’s decision to be cautious.

"We are taking this action, so that everyone else in school can carry on as normal.

"All we ask is that everyone follows the latest guidance from Public Health England and regularly checks with NHS 111 online service if you are unsure what to do.

Executive head teacher, Tara Deevoy
Executive head teacher, Tara Deevoy

"We will continue to do the same and take every step needed to keep the children safe.

"Whilst it may seem a complete overreaction to be asked to self-isolate if you are totally well and fit, these decisions are made for the greater good to protect those who are vulnerable and I’m sure we will all be supportive of each other in the coming weeks."

It comes as county education chiefs say they are “ramping up” contingency plans to deal with school closures.

The Prime Minister is due to chair an emergency COBRA committee meeting today.

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