Published: 19:07, 15 November 2020
| Updated: 19:09, 15 November 2020
Fulston Manor School in Sittingbourne is to close for two weeks after 22 confirmed cases of coronavirus.
The school issued a statement on social media today and issued letters to parents announcing a 14 day closure.
A letter to parents and guardians from headteacher Susie Burden said: "Further to my letter on Thursday, when we had 11 positive cases across our community, we now have 22 confirmed cases and three staff awaiting test results. Prior to last Saturday night we had no confirmed cases and in the last seven days this has jumped to 22.
"This very sudden and rapidly changing situation is obviously very concerning to all of us and necessitates a quick decision rather than delaying until next week.
"The safety of our students, staff and the families in our community is our paramount concern. Based on the current picture of increasing numbers of cases, and having consulted with the DFE, the Regional Schools Commissioner, Public Health and the local authority, we have taken the very difficult decision to shut the school to students and staff and move learning to blended learning.
"This decision has been made primarily for two reasons, firstly due to the increasing positive cases but secondly due to the staffing pressures we are facing, we now have over 35 staff who have to isolate due to either being a positive case, self-isolation as a contact or in their family or due to track and trace notifications. In our judgement it is not possible to operate the school safely with this number of absent staff.
"We have taken the decision to take a 14 day ‘fire break’ to get us to a position that all those that may have been contacts will serve a 14-day isolation period. This means the school will re-open on Tuesday December 1. Those that have previously been contacted as a ‘contact’ of a positive case must continue to remain indoors until the end of their 14 day period."
The school apologised for the impact and asked parents to monitor the website for reminders about returning to school.