Published: 09:46, 12 November 2020
| Updated: 14:07, 12 November 2020
More than 400 students at a school have been forced to isolate after their year group was shut after more cases of Covid-19.
Fulston Manor School in Sittingbourne has told parents it is closing Year 9 and Year 11 bubbles due to the virus.
There is now 11 cases of coronavirus at the school which has left a shortage of teachers, with 15 members of staff off today.
A letter sent home to parents from head of school Susie Burden asked parents to stop posting on social media as this can lead to "misinformation" being spread.
She said: I am sure you will by now be aware that we have had further confirmed positive cases within our community over the last 12 hours. I would firstly like to share our thoughts and best wishes with all those affected and wish them a speedy recovery.
"We now have 11 positive cases across the school community. As a result, we have taken the decision to close Year 9 and Year 11 bubbles. We have also sent some students home to self-isolate in all other year groups.
"We are hopeful that the closure of these bubbles will help to stop any further cases.
'A continued increase in the number of students testing positive has led to the need for increased self isolation.'
"Please can I ask parents to work with us in what is an extremely fast moving and ever changing picture.
"Please could you refrain from posting comments on social media or elsewhere as this is causing a series of misinformation, confusion and mis-communication issues.
"These only serve to increase the pressure on staff and students. We are doing all that we can to balance keeping the school open to maintain education, with ensuring we do all we can to protect the whole school community."
The youngsters are now being told to stay at home until Wednesday, November 25.
The school in Brenchley Road recorded its first cases of the virus last week since returning in September and meant that every secondary school in the town has had a case of the virus.
A statement from the school said: “A continued increase in the number of students testing positive has led to the need for increased self isolation from others, reaching the point in the year groups in question where it was not possible for them to continue in school in a safe manner.
"Additional numbers of staff absent as a result of positive tests or requirements to self isolate has also been a contributory factor in this decision.
"There continues to be a surge in COVID19 cases within Swale, with some local districts now recording over 450 cases per 100,000.
"This makes it inevitable that schools will continue to be adversely affected until rates fall significantly.
Speaking earlier this week about whether schools should close again, executive head Alan Brookes said: “The decision as to whether or not schools should remain open is one that rests with the government.
“While there are significant disadvantages for children and young people if schools do close it is also true that remaining open will delay the fall in the R rate and may, as a result, mean that stricter measures need to be introduced elsewhere and that the end of the lockdown period may be extended.
“What is clear is that the ongoing disruption to education does call into question the fairness of next summer’s examinations as currently proposed by the government and that urgent attention needs to be paid to the development of contingency plans that recognise this issue.”