Back to school for St Mark’s after coronavirus closure

The pupils and staff at St Mark’s CE Primary School in Swanage return to their classrooms after a two week closure due to a member of staff testing positive for COVID-19.

The school was only open fully for one day on Monday 7th September 2020 after the summer holidays, before it was closed on the advice of Public Health England.

Too few members of staff to keep the school open

The majority of staff were told to self-isolate for 14 days because they had been in close contact during a staff training day with a member of staff who later tested positive for COVID-19. This left too few teachers and members of staff to keep the school open.

St Marks school

“Suffering only relatively mild symptoms”

In a letter to parents, published on the school website, Paul Howieson, chief executive officer of the academy group, Coastal Learning Partnership that runs the school said:

“This closure really does go to show how challenging it is to control the spread of this virus if it happens to find a way inside a school community. We are blessed at least that the member of staff appears so far to be suffering only relatively mild symptoms and also that this colleague had the foresight to self-isolate before children had returned to school.

“Our thanks to parents for their patience and understanding as we navigate another new COVID-19 experience.”

New rules about face coverings for Dorset’s secondary school children

In an effort to help keep schools open while coronavirus continues to exist within our community, new rules about face coverings for children at secondary and upper schools in Dorset, come into effect from today, Monday 21st September 2020.

They will now be asked to wear face coverings on school buses, unless they are exempt. Previously, they only had to wear face coverings on public transport, now that is being extended to school transport.

“Keep everyone safe and reassure drivers”

Councillor Andrew Parry, Dorset Council portfolio holder for children, education and early help, said:

“We continue to monitor and review the situation in order to minimise any potential risk. As a result we are asking secondary and upper school students in Dorset to wear a face covering on school transport from Monday unless they are exempt.

“This is to keep everyone safe and reassure drivers. Our message to our young people is thank you for wearing a face covering to protect yourself and others.”

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