#childsafety | Coronavirus ‘incidents’ at two Bradford schools

BRADFORD Council has said it is aware of coronavirus-related “incidents” at two schools in the district.

Both Thornton Primary School and High Park School, Heaton, have been affected.

Helen Rowland, chief executive of Focus-Trust, which runs Thornton Primary School said there has been a confirmed case of coronavirus at the school, which is still open, and anyone in that ‘bubble’ is following the Government and Public Health England guidance to self-isolate for fourteen days.

She said: “The health and safety of our children and staff is our highest priority. Like all Focus-Trust academies, Thornton Primary School has undertaken comprehensive risk assessments and put a strict hierarchy of controls in place to ensure school is as safe a place as possible.

“In this case, we have followed the advice of Public Health England and Bradford and will continue to monitor and review the situation very closely.”

The Government’s guidance outlines that if a child, young person, or staff member tests positive, the whole school, or even year group, does not necessarily have to close.

It states: “Where settings are observing guidance on infection prevention and control, which will reduce risk of transmission, closure of the whole setting will not generally be necessary.”

For example, schools employing a “bubble” system. Those in the same class or group as the individual who has tested positive for coronavirus should be sent home and advised to self-isolate for 14 days.

Meanwhile, the Telegraph & Argus understands a text message was sent to those involved with High Park School on Monday informing them of a confirmed case of Covid-19 in the school and it would be closing until July 7.

High Park is a specialist school for pupils with communication and interaction difficulties and is currently listed as being closed on the Council website. The Telegraph & Argus contacted the Interaction and Communication Academy Trust, which runs the school, for comment but did not receive a response.

A Bradford Council spokesperson said: “We are aware of incidents at High Park School and Thornton Primary School. We are working closely to support the schools which have liaised with Public Health officials and acted quickly and appropriately to isolate staff and children in accordance with their advice.”

Meanwhile. Bradford Council Leader Susan Hinchcliffe discussed schools in an online Zoom meeting on Bradford’s response and recovery to the Covid-19 crisis.

“As a Council, we’ve tried to support every headteacher throughout the district – whatever they decide is best for their school – that’s not just maintained schools, that’s academies as well, they’re all Bradford children. We’ve worked well with schools we feel and headteachers have had a huge amount of responsibility in this. As we go forward in September, we do need children to start getting an education.

“Education is so important, but they have to be able to do so safely, so we’re going to have to continue to monitor the situation as we go on and make sure that parents have the confidence to send their children to school and that children can learn in an environment where teachers feel safe.

“We’re also starting to test teachers now, to make sure they’re safe. Our Marley Fields site has been hugely beneficial in that in protecting frontline care workers and now teachers to make sure they can stay safe in the workplace.

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