Lavenham Primary School to remain shut for at least two weeks due to 'spiralling' Covid-19 infection rate
A Suffolk primary school has announced it will stay closed for at least two weeks due to the coronavirus infection rate 'spiralling ever upward'.
In a letter to parents today, the headteacher of Lavenham Community Primary, Rory Michael said the 'infection rate is now so high that the danger it presents to pupils, staff and the wider community outweighs the benefit of having pupils in school'.
Today Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he had 'no doubt' that classrooms are safe and that the risk to young people was 'very, very small' amid calls from teaching unions to close all schools for the next fortnight.
However, Mr Michael said the daily infection rate was 'spiralling ever upward' and the 'surge in numbers would suggest that we will see many more pupils in school with the virus but without symptoms'.
"This significantly increases the risk, not only to staff, but also to the wider community if the virus is passed from pupil to pupil," he said.
"This has prompted concern from staff regarding their safety at work.
"This concern is supported by all the teaching unions as well as the senior leadership team within the school.
"As headteacher it is my responsibility to decide whether we can offer a full curriculum in a safe environment for all.
"Currently we are all in agreement that we cannot and so we will be unable to open on Tuesday as planned.
"This decision has been agreed by the chair of governors and in consultation with Suffolk County Council."
He said they will review the decision on Friday, January 16, but if the situation has not improved, they 'will remain shut for another two weeks or until the evidence points to the school being a safe environment for everyone'.
The school will run an 'an online solution' for pupils and a classroom will be available for vulnerable and key worker children to 'access the same online learning'.
Mr Michael added: "I recognise that this decision has been made late but events have moved swiftly over the past couple of days to bring us to this point.
"It has not been an easy decision to make as we agree with the broad consensus that children are better off in school.
"However, the infection rate is now so high that the danger it presents to pupils, staff and the wider community outweighs the benefit of having pupils in school."