Primary school closes for 'circuit breaker' after coronavirus outbreak

Edgar Sewter school in Halesworth has closed due to a coronavirus outbreak

Edgar Sewter school in Halesworth has closed due to a coronavirus outbreak - Credit: Google Maps

An east Suffolk primary school has closed for 10 days due to a "rapidly" rising coronavirus outbreak.

Edgar Sewter school in Halesworth, part of ASSET Education academy trust, announced the closure in a letter to parents on Sunday, April 25.

The letter came after the school reported nine positive Covid-19 cases on Friday, which had risen to 17 over the weekend.

A significant number of cases are among the school's Year 3 and Year 4 bubble. 

As a result of the rising cases, headteacher Katherine Milk announced the school will close completely – including to the children of keyworkers – in a bid to stop the virus' spread.

In the letter, Mrs Milk said she wants the school community to treat the circuit breaker period as a lockdown – asking children to self-isolate.

Mrs Milk wrote: "As Covid-19 cases are rising rapidly in school, I have sought further advice and have taken the decision to close the school for 10 days, with all children returning to school on Thursday, May 6.

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"This closure is known as a ‘circuit breaker’ in order to reduce transmission in school. As a school community this needs to be treated as a lockdown.

"We need to come together as a school community and break this transmission as soon as possible."

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Clare Flintoff, CEO of ASSET Education, said closing the school was the last thing they wanted to do.

Clare Flintoff, CEO of ASSET Education, said the cases have been brought into the school from the community, but said the school is not aware of any in-school transmission outside of the tight school bubbles.

She added: "This is the first time that the school has reported any Covid cases since March last year so it is particularly disappointing. 

"We are working closely with the authorities and hopefully will be back in action very soon. 

"This is a reminder to all of us that Covid is still around and I would encourage all of our families to limit contact with others outside of school as closing a school is the last thing that we want to do."

Children at the school have been offered access to laptops for home learning during the closure, with work added onto the school's online learning portal.

The announcement comes after an outbreak at two unnamed schools were discussed at the Suffolk Local Outbreak Engagement Board on Friday.