Perins School has shut for a 14-day “Circuit Break” following an increase in Coronavirus cases.
The Alresford school, which attracts many pupils from the Meon Valley, says it has had a significant number of new cases and now has cases in all year groups.
“Most concerning is that we are seeing new positive cases from students not previously identified as ‘contacts’ (therefore not at home isolating and in the school setting),” Headteacher Steve Jones told parents in a letter.
“I am very aware that for many of our students remaining in school, there is a heightened anxiety as they see the majority of their peers isolating and hear of the increasing number of positive cases. The health and safety of our students, the risk of spread to their families and the well-being of all members of the Perins community has been our main concern during this period.
“In addition, the learning experiences for those students in school as well as those at home has been negatively affected where classes are split between home and school. The classes using live lessons from home together have had a greater consistency and I thank parents for the positive feedback on this method of learning. In addition, we have, for the past week been seeing approximately 50 members of staff absent on a daily basis and this also has a major impact on learning and the school experience.
“This morning I spoke once again with Public Health England and expressed my concerns in that there appears to be no endpoint in sight with the potential risk of students returning being asked to isolate again through future ‘contacts’.
“As a result, Public Health England has reviewed our situation and agreed that the best response to the current situation is a 14-day ‘circuit break’. This coincidentally coincides with national lockdown dates which will ensure that all students isolate as required (those under specific isolation requirements as well as those under national lockdown requirements).
“Therefore, regretfully, I will be closing all five-year bubbles (years 7-11) within the school at the end of the day with a return at 8.30 on 3rd December.”
He added: “It is an unfortunate and difficult time for everyone and I am personally disappointed that I will yet again (for a short period) be away from our fantastic students once again.
“However, I am confident that this is the right thing to do at the right time for the right reasons. The learning experiences of students, their well-being and the safety of everyone in our community stands a better chance of recovery as a result of these measures. I am hopeful that this course of action will take us back to a tabula rasa and this clean sheet, together with the opportunity for us to consider risk assessments and organise a deep clean of the school will prevent further spread.”