Published: 20:31, 28 October 2020
| Updated: 20:40, 28 October 2020
Five pupils from a coronavirus-hit school were spotted either at the shops or McDonald's - when they should have been isolating.
Garlinge Primary head teacher James Williams says he has received reports that the children had flouted Covid-19 rules, after the Margate school had two positive cases of the illness.
The outbreak meant that 54 youngsters and six members of staff had to be sent home on Monday, October 19 .
In a letter sent to parents last week, Mr Williams said: "I have been made aware of some fairly serious breaches of the rules from members of classes who have been instructed by Public Health England to self-isolate as a result of the cases.
"Either members of staff or members of our school community have reported: three pupils who should have been isolating were shopping in Morrison’s, one pupil was shopping at Westwood Cross [and] one was at McDonalds.
"If these reports are true, I am absolutely dumbfounded at the lack of care a small minority of our community seem to be providing at what is a difficult and stressful time for everyone."
Mr Williams implored the parents of those affected to make sure they and their children self-isolate.
He also noted that a PHE official told him that there was no more the school could be doing to prevent the spread of the virus.
But he has since confirmed that he has decided to delay the return of pupils from their half-term breaks by one week.
"Clearly the number of cases that we have seen is hugely concerning for us as a school community and as a result I wanted to take action that will ensure any transmission within the school grounds is completely eradicated," he explained.
"During the term break the school will undergo a further deep clean and ‘fog’ in readiness for the children’s return on November 9.
"Closing the school is not a decision that any of us have come to lightly, and I know that it will cause disruption and difficulty for many of our families, but the safety of the pupils must come first.
"This will be the most effective way of dealing with this current outbreak."