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Headteacher of SET Ixworth near Bury St Edmunds, Pia Parker, reassures parents following increase in positive coronavirus cases

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The headteacher of a secondary school has reassured parents following an increase in positive coronavirus cases among students.

Pia Parker, head at SET Ixworth, near Bury St Edmunds, signed a letter to parents on Tuesday, and then shared it on Twitter yesterday.

In the letter, Mrs Parker requested students wear masks at all times while in the classroom from Wednesday, following a number of positive Covid-19 cases since last Friday.

SET Ixworth School sign. Picture: Mark Westley.
SET Ixworth School sign. Picture: Mark Westley.

Fifteen per cent of students are currently off from school.

The letter said: "Whilst the local Health Protection Team reassures us that there is no cause for alarm and SET Ixworth have implemented sufficient Covid safety measures, we want to do everything possible to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all students, their families and staff.

"Therefore, with immediate effect of Wednesday 22 September, we will be requesting that students wear masks at all times whilst in the classroom.

"This will bolster the current guidance which advises face masks whilst moving around the school and in internal communal areas."

Today, another letter was sent out stating that on top of existing requests, from Monday, students will also be expected to sanitise their hands at the end of every lesson, outdoor social time will be organised into year group zones and parents and carers will not be able to come into main reception.

Mrs Parker said: "We are calling out to parents, carers, students and the wider community to assist and support us in controlling the spread of Covid-19.

"In addition to the measures we have introduced in the school we are asking that families support us by increasing lateral flow testing routines from twice a week to three times a week from Monday, September 27, and insisting their children wear masks, unless exempt, on all public transport.

"Following national guidance, when a member of the household tests positive via a PCR test then all other members, including siblings, should also take a PCR Covid-19 test.

“Further, and to reassure the parent/carer and student community, we are strongly encouraging all parents and carers to book a PCR Covid-19 test for their children over the coming days, even if they are not showing symptoms.

"This will help to identify cases and ensure that students self-isolate, with the appropriate support.

“Naturally we are all craving to retain a greater sense of ‘normality’ but as always, at the forefront of our action is the commitment to prioritising the safety of all as well as minimising any further disruption to learning.

"We foresee these measures being in place up to half term and will then review with Public Health.

"A decision to ease the measures will be driven by the data."

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