Sheffield headteacher among five staff sent home to self isolate after school Covid-19 outbreak

A Sheffield headteacher has been sent home to self-isolate with four other staff members, after three cases of Covid-19 were confirmed at the school.

Thursday, 22nd October 2020, 4:02 pm

A total of five members of staff at Emmaus Catholic and Church of England Primary School, including the headteacher Mrs Simmerson and deputy headteacher Miss Illien, have been sent home to self-isolate after coming into direct contact with one of the three positive cases at the school.

Children from five different year groups have also been sent home to self isolate for 14 days after coming into contact with someone who contracted Covid-19.

The headteacher confirmed the outbreak in a letter to parents on Monday, October 19.

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Emmaus Catholic and Church of England Primary School on Southend Road, Sheffield.

Mrs Simmerson wrote: “By now you should all be aware that we have our first positive case of Covid 19.

"I have followed closely the advice and guidance from the Department of Education and Public Health as to who needed to isolate.

“Miss Illien and I both need to isolate at home along with 3 additional staff members as we were in direct contact.

“This has brought home to me that the virus is very much in our community and we continue to follow public health guidance to help protect each other.

“This morning there were phone calls from parents worried that other parents were forgetting to social distance and blocking pavements so children were walking on the muddy grass.

"There are many vulnerable people in our community, parents, children, relatives and staff.

"This disease is very dangerous and it can affect different people in different ways.

"When you are near school please think about how you can help keep all our community safe.”

Timetables have been altered and agency teachers have been brought in to minimise the level of disruption to students.

The school on Southend Road, which teaches 346 students, has been criticised by a parent over their handling of the outbreak – by allowing the siblings of students that have been sent home to self-isolate, to continue attending class.

Guidance from Public Health England urges anyone infected with coronavirus to be sent home from school immediately to self-isolate and alongside anyone they have come into contact with for 14 days.

The school should then contact the Government’s coronavirus advice unit to find out whether more students need to be sent home.

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