A MEMBER of staff at a school has tested positive for coronavirus.

Cardinal Newman Catholic School in Hove confirmed the news in a letter to parents yesterday.

This comes just days before year nine and ten pupils are set to return to the school after the summer holidays and the enforced closure caused by Covid-19.

Some staff and pupils have been advised to self-isolate for 14 days, with those living with them also asked not to leave their homes.

Principal Claire Jarman wrote: “I had intended to write to you this evening full of praise for the way years seven, eight and 11 have returned to school, and anticipating an equally positive return for years nine and ten on Monday.

“And, indeed, all of our students have done themselves proud this week and been full of positivity and enthusiasm, and their teachers have loved seeing them again.

“However, I also have to report more sobering news. We have a member of staff who has tested positive for Covid.”

Ms Jarman said she had been informed of the news at 9.30am yesterday and subsequently contacted Public Health England (PHE) for advice on how to proceed.

She also contacted her colleague who had contracted the virus to “ascertain those who were direct contacts”.

Ms Jarman said: “Two year seven classes are affected and I have already contacted those parents directly, as their children will need to self-isolate for 14 days.

“We fully appreciate this is not the start to the new term any of us would have wished for, and we will work hard to keep in close contact with the children and to ensure they feel fully part of the Newman family.

“We also have a number of staff who will also need to isolate.

“This mainly affects our Learning Support team, which means that we might be able to offer less support for the next fortnight than we would want.”

Ms Jarman also urged parents to reinforce the importance of social distancing to their children.

She said: “In my conversations with PHE today, the main thing that struck me is the paramount importance of social distancing as just one minute at the proximity of one metre, or fifteen minutes at two metres, means you are a close direct contact.

“Could you therefore please impress upon your children the need to keep socially distanced and to keep washing hands.

“Our colleagues and children who need to self-isolate are in our thoughts and prayers, and my hope is that we can continue to work together to keep our community safe and secure.”