School visited by Boris Johnson to show it was safe confirms coronavirus case

Dozens of schools across UK hit by outbreaks

Samuel Osborne
Tuesday 08 September 2020 11:04
Boris Johnson calls on parents to send children to school

A member of staff at a school visited by Boris Johnson to encourage pupils to return to the classroom has tested positive for Covid-19.

The prime minister spoke at the Castle Rock school in Coalville, Leicestershire, on 26 August as pupils returned for the first time since lockdown.

In a letter to parents, the head of the school, Michael Gamble, said the school had "sought immediate advice" from Public Health England and was "continuing to closely follow... government guidance".

During his visit, Mr Johnson gave a speech to pupils in which he cited the debate around Rule, Britannia! as an example of a concept teachers are able to help pupils understand, which he said was a benefit of being back in classrooms.

He also referred to the "supine stem of confiteor" from Latin study, and touched on the debate around whether Harry Potter is sexist or not.

In his letter to parents, Mr Gamble said: "We apologise for the lateness of this letter, however this evening we have been informed that one member of our staff at The Castle Rock School has been tested positive for Covid-19.

"The health, safety and well-being of our students is paramount.

"Please be assured that we have sought immediate advice from Public Health England this evening, and we are continuing to closely follow the published government guidance.

"Staff who may have been in 'contact' with the staff member have already been contacted by the NHS Test and Trace process."

It comes as dozens of schools across the UK were hit by coronavirus outbreaks since pupils returned to class.

Some closed their doors days after reopening, while others have told whole classes and year groups to self-isolate for two weeks after confirming cases of Covid-19.

Hundreds of pupils in Greater Manchester have been forced to self-isolate after 15 schools reported coronavirus outbreaks.

Up to 200 children are also having to self-isolate in Liverpool after positive cases were reported in eight schools.

Meanwhile, the health secretary, Matt Hancock, suggested young people under 25 and particularly those aged 17-21 have been responsible for the rise in coronavirus cases across the country in recent days.

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