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Staff member at Ipswich special needs school tests positive for coronavirus

PUBLISHED: 10:12 13 October 2020 | UPDATED: 13:13 13 October 2020

Headteacher of The Bridge School, Hazel Simmons, issued a letter to parents following the coronavirus case in a member of staff. Picture: Lauren De Boise

Headteacher of The Bridge School, Hazel Simmons, issued a letter to parents following the coronavirus case in a member of staff. Picture: Lauren De Boise

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More than 30 special needs students are self-isolating after a member of staff at The Bridge School in Ipswich tested positive for Covid-19.

Hazel Simmons, headteacher of the school in Sprites Lane, which teaches many children with disabilities and learning difficulties, issued a letter to parents on Thursday, October 8.

She confirmed one staff member tested positive for coronavirus, which led to 31 students at the school being sent home to self-isolate for 14 days.

In the letter, Ms Simmons said: “I am so sorry to be the bearer of news you don’t want to hear. We are so very upset as the children had just settled back into their routines and it was going so well. We are also very aware of the burden this will place on you.”

After liaising with Public Health England, the school was instructed to close the identified classes for 14 days. They will not reopen until Wednesday, October 21.

If any other staff member becomes unwell in that period, another 10 days will be added to the closures from the point that they test positive.

Ms Simmons added: “We very much hope that this doesn’t happen and we have the staffing capacity to reopen fully.

“Fingers crossed we caught and isolated it early enough.”

The school has since sent out remote learning plans, including an hour a day of online streaming from classroom teachers, which they are doing from their own homes.

Ms Simmons reassured parents that they will be called every day to discuss how things are going and offer any guidance and support they can.

Last week, 30 students from Springfield Junior School in Ipswich were sent home to self-isolate after the school recorded a positive case.

The Year 5 pupils and four members of staff were sent home.

MORE: 30 pupils self-isolating after coronavirus case at junior school


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