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Precautionary COVID-19 measures taken at Avon Valley College

Wiltshire Council, Public Health England, and school working together

Published 17 September 2020

Avon Valley College in Durrington is taking precautionary measures after one of the pupils at the school tested positive for COVID-19.

The pupil is in Year 10, and while all precautionary and proper bubble measures have been followed, the school has chosen to take additional precautions with advice from public health professionals and asked 65 Year 10 pupils to self-isolate until 21 September. One member of staff is also self-isolating.  

The school has arranged for those pupils to continue their learning at home during this time.

The school has been working closely with Public Health England and Wiltshire Council to ensure high standards of hygiene and social distancing are maintained and all the necessary measures are in place. The Year 10 self-isolation is precautionary to minimise any risk to others.

Kate Blackburn, Director of Public Health for Wiltshire, said: Although only one pupil has tested positive, we need to take this action to ensure we keep the rest of the school community as safe as possible. Schools are well prepared for this eventuality and they have been incredibly supportive as we work together with Public Health England to manage these types of situations. We wish the pupil a really speedy recovery. 

We urge anyone who is asked to self-isolate to 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.

Louisa Paston, Head of Avon Valley College, said: Our priority is the safety and welfare of everyone at the school and although we know this will be disruptive for some, it is the best course of action to take. We really appreciate the understanding of all the families involved, as we know how difficult this is. We wish the pupil a speedy recovery and have plans in place to ensure all those who are self-isolating get the support they need to learn at home. Our COVID-19 measures already in place will ensure the rest of the school can continue just as before.

Sam Johnston, Executive Principal of Salisbury Plain Academies, said:  As of today (16 September), we now have two confirmed cases of COVID-19 across Salisbury Plain Academies Trust (Bulford St Leonard's being the other). Owing to the stringent safety precautions in place in all of our schools as well as the careful planning for such a scenario, transmission and impact on learning has been, and will be minimised.

Anyone who starts to develop coronavirus symptoms, such as a new continuous cough, a high temperature or a loss or change to sense of taste or smell, should self-isolate and book a test. The best way to keep safe is for people to regularly wash hands, maintain social distancing and wear face coverings where appropriate.


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