'Extra-cautionary' Covid measures reintroduced at Kesgrave High

A man has denied assault and careless driving outside Kesgrave High School. Picture: ARCHANT

The Ipswich school has reintroduced measures Picture: ARCHANT

Kesgrave High School has reintroduced mask-wearing in corridors and is asking parents to do a lateral flow test before attending events, as around 30 students currently self-isolate. 

Julia Upton, headteacher, said: "As education returns without bubbles and zones an increase was always possible, but we noticed our cases growing last week and have since been liaising with the local authority and Public Health England closely. 

"Perhaps ours is an extra-cautionary approach, with a return to masks as students move to and from lessons and lateral flow tests before our events, but all measures are to reassure the parental and student community."

The school is also monitoring any spikes in age groups and will ask affected students to get a PCR test. 

Because of the testing increase, Miss Upton suggested that case numbers may initially rise - but with close monitoring, it is hoped the fall won't be too far away. 

A total of 1,209 students and 117 staff members across the county have tested positive for Covid-19 since September 12, according to Suffolk County Council. 

As per the new guidance, Covid bubbles have been dropped and pupils no longer have to isolate if they have been in close contact with someone with coronavirus - but they are advised to get a PCR test.

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Suffolk County Council said they are advised to contact Public Health England if five individuals who have had close contact test positive within a 10 day period, or 10% of their staff and pupils.

Geoff Barton, general secretary of the association of school and college leaders, said: "The government's latest figures show that a large number of pupils were absent from schools last week with confirmed or suspected cases of coronavirus. We need to bring the continuing disruption to education to an end. 

"We are hopeful that the vaccination programme for 12 to 15-year-olds will help matters.  

"But the government also needs to provide funding for ventilation systems in schools and colleges, and launch a public information campaign to encourage twice-weekly home testing among pupils in the appropriate age groups." 

Has your school reintroduced Covid-safety measures? Email suffolk.editors@archant.co.uk.