Coronavirus impact forces partial closure at Kettering school

An 'increasing' number of staff are self-isolating

Wednesday, 18th March 2020, 11:45 am
Updated Wednesday, 18th March 2020, 11:46 am

A Kettering school will be closed to some year groups later this week because of the impact of coronavirus.

Bishop Stopford School in Headlands is the latest to shut its doors to some pupils because of an increasing number of staff who are self-isolating over the virus.

The virus has now affected almost 2,000 people in the UK and 12 in Northamptonshire, including Craig Ruston from Kettering who became the youngest in the country to die from it.

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Bishop Stopford School.

Tomorrow (Thursday) the school will be closed to students in Years 8 and 9 and on Friday pupils in Years 10 and 12 will not be at school.

In a letter to parents this morning, headteacher Jill Silverthorne said: "The impact of COVID-19 is increasing in households and workplaces across the country.

"Bishop Stopford School is no exception to this and it will not surprise you that we have an increasing number of staff who need to self-isolate in line with government guidance.

"We are evaluating our staffing levels and our ability to operate the school on a safe basis.

"Today, we have reviewed our staff absence and are proposing to partially close school over the next two days."

The school is the latest to take such steps after Kingswood Secondary Academy in Corby told four year groups not to attend school.

Sir Christoper Hatton Academy in Wellingborough has also enforced a partial closure with Year 10 students at home today, Year 9 students at home tomorrow and Year 8 students at home on Friday because of staff absences.

Latimer Arts College headteacher Siobhan Hearne warned parents it is looking "increasingly likely" they may have to enforce a partial closure in the coming days.

In her letter, Miss Silverthorne added: "As this is a fast moving situation, it is likely that we will see further disruption next week.

"I would therefore ask that, as parents, you plan for the likelihood that there will be days next week when your son or daughter may need to work from home...we will inform you as soon as possible if this is the case.

"I would like to reassure you that we have not taken these steps lightly. Providing the best education we can for all of our students is our priority. However, so too is providing a safe and secure environment.

"Of course, it goes without saying that if your son or daughter in any year group is presenting with any of the symptoms (ie a high temperature and a new persistent cough, you must keep them at home. Thank you for your continued support for us in these challenging times."