Samuel Ward Academy in Haverhill will reopen tomorrow (Wednesday 9th September), initially on a rota basis.
There will be a significant number of staff self-isolating until Sunday 20th September. With that reduced number of teachers, the school won’t be able to open fully until Monday 21st September. Until then, they will operate a rota system.
Samuel Ward Academy will open to Year 9, Year 11, Year 12 and Year 13 for the next four days – Wednesday 9th September to Monday 14th September. During that time, work will be set for Year 7, Year 8 and Year 10 to do at home.
The school will then open to Year 7, Year 8 and Year 10 for the four days after that – Tuesday 15th September to Friday 18th September. During that time, work will be set for Year 9, Year 11, Year 12 and Year 13 to do at home.
In a media statement, Headteacher Andy Hunter said: “Samuel Ward Academy will reopen tomorrow (Wednesday 9th September). But due to the significant number of staff self-isolating, both because of positive tests and for precautionary measures, we will be operating a rota system among year groups for the rest of this week and next week. We will then open fully on Monday 21st September.
“There has been extensive cleaning across the whole site and any room that someone we know to have tested positive has been in has been treated with anti-viral ‘fogging’.
“The school closed as a precautionary measure and to allow us time to trace and isolate all the contacts.
“Now we have done that, Public Health England has given us the all clear to open.
We had high hopes for the return to school and I know I speak for the entire staff when I say we are extremely disappointed to find ourselves in the position we are in now.
“Before we opened, we put in place appropriate systems of control as suggested by the Government guidance for schools.
“However in the light of the recent outbreak, we will be increasing our systems of control. Those include new guidance for staff on increased social distancing, including amongst other things a blanket ban on making anyone else a drink or sharing food or snacks.
“All staff meetings, including full staff meetings and department meetings, will be held virtually. All assemblies will be held virtually. We are also asking that from now until half-term, all staff and students wear face coverings in public places. That means corridors, stairwells, toilets and washrooms, changing rooms and canteen queues. Masks will not be worn in lessons unless an individual has a specific and compelling medical reason to wear one.
“We hope we have been able to reassure staff, students, families and the wider community that we acted swiftly and effectively to control this outbreak and that the additional measures we have put in place will substantially reduce the chances of another one.
“We will continue to do our very best to provide the best education we can whilst keeping everyone as safe as we can.”