CONCERNED parents have been reassured that a school has taken "all measures we can" to make the site safe after a staff member tested positive for coronavirus.

Cardinal Newman Catholic School in Hove confirmed the news in a letter to the families of pupils on Friday.

Headteacher Claire Jarman wrote a second letter to parents on Sunday evening to say that all areas visited by her "Covid-positive colleague" had been deep cleaned.

She also said that no other members of staff or students had reported any virus symptoms.

Ms Jarman said her colleague had been asymptomatic and "had no idea they were carrying the virus until contacted by track and trace". When they were notified, they left the school site and did not return.

She also wrote to "dispel any ideas that this colleague had been abroad" or "participated in any other risky behaviours".

Ms Jarman said: "I want to write to you to update you about the situation I alerted you to on Friday and reassure you that we have taken all measures we can to ensure the school is a safe place to return to.

"As well as our regular Friday evening deep clean, we added all the areas that our Covid-positive colleague had been in for a deep clean with a system similar to ‘fogging’, which leaves an invisible disinfectant barrier on surfaces which lasts for over a week.

"So far, no other member of staff or student has reported developing symptoms, but of course several students and a small number of staff will have to isolate for a period and we continue to monitor the situation.

"In answer to a number of queries I have had, the colleague in question was asymptomatic and had no idea they were carrying the virus until contacted by track and trace, at which point they had left the site for the day and did not return again.

"I also want to dispel any ideas that this colleague had been abroad, recently flown, visited any region of the UK in local lockdown or participated in any other risky behaviours. They had not."

Two Year 7 classes have been affected by the diagnosis and the pupils in these groups, as well as those in their households, have been asked to self-isolate for 14 days.

Ms Jarman said all those who needed to isolate had been "very thoroughly and carefully identified" by Public Health England.

She also said that "social distancing is of paramount importance" and listed a series of measures which staff and students should try to adhere to.

These were as follows:

  • Teachers should stay in their 2m zoned off area at the front of the classroom.
  • Students should always be facing the front and not have conversations in pairs (facing each other).
  • Where the classroom does not allow for rows facing the front, masks are to be worn at all times.
  • If more than one adult is in a room, they must keep over 2m distance from each other.
  • Teaching assistants will wear masks/visors and support children from behind or at the side.
  • Anything to be handed out should either be pre-laid out on desks or, if that’s not possible, a pile on a first desk/similar where students enter and they each pick one up themselves. Do not share text books without sanitising before and after.
  • Ensure all windows and doors are open as wide as possible.
  • When you need to have conversations, keep your 2m distance and consider side by side rather than face to face.
  • Keep up the hand sanitising and desk cleaning etc. at start and end of lessons.
  • Where you can have any conversations, one to ones, mentoring etc outside, do so.