A whole year group at a Kingston school has been sent home to study for two weeks after a pupil tested positive for coronavirus, and was identified as having more than 50 close contacts.
Year 11 pupils at The Kingston Academy were instructed to work from home yesterday (November 16) after a pupil in the year group received a positive test for COVID-19 in the morning.
The school calculated that “well over 50 pupils” in the year were “close social contacts or proximity contacts in the different classroom settings”, leading to the whole year group being sent home.
Head teacher Ms Sophie Cavanagh wrote a letter to all parents at the school providing the update.
She said the decision was not “taken lightly” and that staff “are seeking to protect the quality of teaching and learning provision for all Year 11 pupils in the lead up to their GCSE mock examinations,” which begin on Monday November 30.
It is understood that all pupils in the year were sent home to ensure teachers could teach them all equally and fairly in a remote setting before their examinations took place, rather than having some in school and some at home.
Year 11 pupils will follow a full timetable of lessons from home, while other year groups will continue to attend school as normal.
Ms Cavanagh added: “The number of positive cases within our school community remains relatively low and this has enabled us to maintain full provision for the past nine weeks since all schools reopened.
“However, you will be aware from our communications that over the last week we have received reports of five positive tests. It is essential that we do act swiftly to safeguard our community, whilst also protecting the provision of education and the opportunity for pupils to attend school, which is such an important routine for them to sustain, providing essential contact with their peers and teachers.
“While we know that this decision will not affect children in other year groups, we anticipate your continued support in dealing with this challenging and unprecedented situation and know that you acknowledge the increased pressure that all schools are under at this time.”
A spokesperson from The Kingston Academy said the school would not be releasing a further statement.