A NORTHWICH school will be temporarily closed for the rest of the week amid fears that pupils returning from an Italy trip have contracted coronavirus.

Following a ski trip by 29 pupils and five members of staff from Cransley School to Bormio in Lombardy over half-term, a small number of pupils and staff began showing mild flu-like symptoms yesterday.

A call was received from the NHS clinical services late on Monday evening advising the school to ensure that those who went on the trip self-isolate, regardless of whether they are showing symptoms of being unwell.

All pupils who attended the trip have been asked by the school to inform NHS 111 and insist on being tested for the Coronavirus, even if displaying very mild symptoms.

Regardless of the current Department for Education and Public Health England advice that the school should remain open to all other pupils, the headmaster has decided, in discussion with the SMT and the Chair and Vice-Chair of Governors, to completely minimise possible spread of infection amongst families and close the school for the remainder of the week.

During this time, the school will undergo a precautionary deep clean and the results of tests carried out on those pupils who are currently showing symptoms will be monitored

“I understand that there will be a variety of reactions to this decision amongst parents, and I hope that all families will understand the developing situation and the changing and inconsistent advice given to the school,” said headmaster Richard Pollock.

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“There are a number of pupils and staff who have vulnerable family members and it is the School’s duty of care to put in place the most secure of measures to minimise any possible infection, despite public policy.

“The staff, pupils and families of Cransley are our highest concern, and whilst we understand the impact this may have on the education of the pupils and disruption to working practice of parents, we believe this decision is justified.”

A further statement by Cransley headmaster Richard Pollock reads: “Our concern rests with the health and wellbeing of the Cransley pupils and families.

“I understand that a number of ski-trip participants who are unwell have been, or will be tested today, and that the results will be made available in the next 24 hours. We hope that all are negative.

“Until these results are made available, the position of full closure must still stand.

“If any results are positive, we will follow the advice given by the Cheshire Health Protection Team.

“This is likely to include a full closure until the end of next week.

“Even if all results are negative, it may be the case that ski-trip pupils and staff still need to remain in isolation for the coming two weeks.

“A decision will be made with the Cheshire Health Protection Team as to whether other pupils should be welcomed back to school.

“This is a complex and difficult situation, yet the governing board and senior management team continue to work together with authorities to ensure a robust and transparent response.”

The school has issued the following advice to parents and pupils:

• If your child was part of the ski trip to Bormio or a sibling is unwell, they should remain at home for the remainder of the week and seek prompt testing from NHS 111.

• If your child was not on the ski trip but is unwell, they should not attend school tomorrow nor for the rest of the week and seek testing from NHS 111.

• If your child was not on the ski trip and is currently well, they should still remain at home and maintain good hand washing and hygiene.