School sends home 32 pupils after they tested positive for Covid

Secondary school sends home 32 Year 7 pupils after they tested positive for Covid just days into first term

  • Ilfracombe Academy in Devon confirmed decision to send pupils home in letter
  • Secondary school says there have been 38 Covid cases since the start of term
  • Cases were detected using lateral flow test and pupils must now take PCR test 

A secondary school has confirmed 32 of its Year 7 pupils tested positive for Covid-19 just a few days after returning back for the start of the new school year.

Ilfracombe Academy in Devon sent home all the pupils for further testing.

Another single positive case was reported in Year 8 and that five other positive cases had previously been reported at the school since the beginning of term bringing the total to 38 cases.

The school has also been dealing with positive tests of pupils who reported positive during the summer holidays and have had a delayed return to school.

Its term-time calendar states pupils were due to return on Tuesday September 7.

In a letter sent to parents headteacher Steve Rogers said: ‘Unfortunately, today we have recorded 32 positive LFD tests in Year 7 and one positive in Year 8.

Ilfracombe Academy in Devon (pictured) has confirmed 32 of its Year 7 pupils tested positive for Covid-19 just a few days after returning back for the start of the new school year last week

‘These students have been sent home to book a PCR test.

‘Yesterday we also informed you of three students that have had a positive PCR test that have not been in school, and two students that have been in school this term.

‘We have been in communication with PHE today.

‘They have advised that at this stage our setting should not take any further action.

‘There are a few students that have tested positive with a PCR test over the summer holiday and as they don’t have any current or new symptoms, they would still be able to come back into school on Monday.

‘The guidance states that anyone who has previously received a positive Covid-19 PCR test result should not be re-tested within 90 days of that test unless they develop any new symptoms of Covid-19.

Ilfracombe Academy Headteacher Steve Rogers

‘We know that you may find this concerning and we are continuing to monitor the situation working closely with Public Health England.

‘This letter is to inform you of the current situation and provide advice on how to support your child.

‘Please be reassured that for most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness.

‘The Ilfracombe Academy remains fully open and your child should continue to attend as normal if they remain well.

‘We encourage household members that are aged 11 and over to continue with twice-weekly LFD testing to help identify cases promptly.’

The school had also informed parents that each of its classrooms have been fitted with their own dedicated mechanical ventilation system to provide fresh, clean air directly from outside.

Mr Rogers said: ‘Recently serviced, our system is running at full capacity to ensure that students and staff are receiving the best possible ventilation.

‘Of course, when it comes to fresh air there is no substitute for open windows.

‘Here at The Ilfracombe Academy, we maintain a policy of open windows and doors throughout our school to further promote airflow.

‘Fresh air, from both mechanical and natural sources, ensures that the students, staff and visitors to our school can breathe easy as they go about their day.’

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