St Margaret's Preparatory School in Calne, like a number of other schools in the country, is taking precautionary measures after one of the pupils at the school tested positive for COVID-19.
The pupil is in Year 3, and while all precautionary and proper bubble measures have been followed, the school has agreed to take additional precautions with advice from public health professionals and ask all Year 3 pupils, a total of 27 pupils and three staff, to self-isolate for 14 days until Monday 28th September.
The Year 3 pupil has a sibling in Year 6 who potentially has symptoms and is having a test. The school has asked the 34 pupils in Year 6 and three staff to work from home until the results are known.
The school has been working closely with PHE and Wiltshire Council to ensure high standards of hygiene and social distancing are maintained and all the necessary measures are in place. The Year 3 self-isolation is very precautionary to minimise any risk to others.
Headteacher Luke Bromwich said: "I wrote to parents and carers of our Year 3 students asking the pupils to self-isolate for 14 days as a precaution. In addition while the sibling in Year 6 is also having a test I have arranged for the pupils in this year group to study from home. I am grateful to the parents for their understanding as we take these necessary precautionary measures.
"I would like to reassure our parents that we have been working closely with PHE and Wiltshire Council to ensure this is managed appropriately and the rest of the school can continue as before. Those who are being asked to self-isolate will carry out home learning so they can continue their studies.
"We will continue to work closely with PHE to ensure high standards of hygiene and social distancing are maintained. I also want to say thank you to our school staff and pupils who have adapted so well to these new procedures."
Kate Blackburn, Director of Public Health for Wiltshire, said: "This is a very precautionary approach to ensure we minimise the risk of any transmission in the school. Public Health England and the school have completed a risk assessment, and they are also working with us to ensure this is managed appropriately. We will support the school as they provide home learning to the pupils asked to self-isolate and we will continue to provide advice and guidance to ensure high standards of hygiene and social distancing are maintained.
"It is important those asked to self-isolate do adhere to the government guidance; if they don't have symptoms they do not need to get a test. However, if a member of their household has symptoms and takes a test then they should self-isolate.
"I would like to remind all our schools and the wider community that the best way to prevent the spread of the virus is to regularly wash your hands, maintain social distancing and to continue to stay at home as much as possible.
"If you do start to develop coronavirus symptoms, such as a new continuous cough, a high temperature or a loss or change to your sense of taste or smell, please self-isolate and book a test.
"We would like to reassure people living and working in Wiltshire that while we do expect to see more cases in the weeks and months ahead, we have robust mechanisms in place to contain the infection and protect the health of the local community."
Mike Wade, Deputy Director for Health Protection at Public Health England South West, said:
"PHE South West is working closely with the school to provide public health advice to stop the virus spreading.
"Everyone should be following social distancing advice to prevent the spread of the virus in schools.
"Good hygiene is the best prevention and there are some simple steps you can take to protect you, your family and colleagues by washing your hands regularly and thoroughly and if you cough, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue."