Schools in Suffolk making own Covid safety decisions to curb virus spread

The �14m Chantry Academy was developed for community use as well as youngsters, according to princip

Chantry Academy has brought Covid measures back - Credit: Gregg Brown

Schools in Suffolk are making their own decisions to reintroduce Covid-19 measures in a bid to curb coronavirus cases. 

Several schools in the county have chosen to bring back measures, such as mask wearing in corridors, and the county council said schools have been managing their own Covid restrictions since the start of this term. 

Chantry Academy announced last week that the school would be reintroducing several coronavirus measures after recording a "higher than average" number of cases.

In a letter to parents, Craig D'Cunha, executive headteacher, said the school was "taking action to reduce the impact" on the education of children. 

Head teacher of Chantry Academy Craig D'Cunha Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Chantry headteacher Craig D'Cunha said the school was taking action to reduce the impact on education - Credit: Archant

As well as requiring students and staff to wear face masks on site, parents were told common areas of use, such as the school's dining hall, are now zoned to ensure year groups are separated. 

While Kesgrave High School also said it was reintroducing mask-wearing in corridors and would be asking parents to do a lateral flow test before attending events. 

Headteacher Julia Upton said the school was also monitoring any spikes in age groups and will ask affected students to get a PCR test. 

Julia Upton will join Kesgrave High School from Debenham as headteacher from September. Picture: SAR

Julia Upton, headteacher at Kesgrave High School - Credit: Archant

A spokeswoman for Suffolk County Council said schools have been managing their own Covid restrictions since September - and the authority only offers guidance and support if approached. 

The spokeswoman added that the guidance and support is all led by the government. 

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Meanwhile, a leading scientist has said that more must be done to speed up Covid-19 vaccinations for children. 

Professor Neil Ferguson said the government should be "less cautious" about offering second jabs to youngsters.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has been reluctant to set a date for when children should get their second dose of the vaccine.

But Prof Ferguson said that the UK should be "a little less cautious" in this field, adding that just one dose of vaccine will have a "a really minor impact on transmission".

He told a meeting of the all-party parliamentary group on coronavirus: "At the moment, for instance, 17 and 18-year-olds have only had one dose.

"And we need to be a little less cautious in accelerating second-dose rollout in teenagers, where possible, because we know that one dose of these vaccines against (the) Delta (variant) has a really minor impact on transmission.

"It is only after two doses and we start seeing a significant impact.

"I'm of the view that the data supports that vaccines do benefit young people directly in reducing their very low risk of infection - and that that benefit outweighs the very rare side effects, partly because Covid probably causes those same conditions itself and all young people will get infected with Covid if they're not vaccinated.

"But we need to accelerate those second doses coming into the population."

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