A Cheshire school closes as precautionary measure against coronavirus

Date published: 25 February 2020

Staff and pupils at Cransley School in Northwich won't be able to attend school after it has closed amid fears of the spread of coronavirus.

The Headmaster, Mr Richard Pollock, made the decision after 29 pupils and 5 staff spent half term in Bormio, Lombardy, on a ski trip. 

A small number of pupils started showing mild flu-like symptoms yesterday. 

The NHS clinical services advised the school to ensure those that were in Italy self-isolated regardless of whether they were showing symptoms or not. 

Although the school was advised by the Department of Education and Public Health England to remain open, they wanted to minimise the spread of Covid-19. 

An email was sent to parents to tell them about the closure and the reasons why were also posted on the school's Facebook page.

It comes as British residents who have recently returned from northern Italy are being told to self-isolate to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said anyone who's visited quarantined zones there should avoid contact with others, even if they show no signs of illness:

"It's obviously quite an imposition on people, we get that, but our top priority is to keep the public safe."

The school will deep clean the school while it's unoccupied and will monitor the pupils that are showing symptoms who have been tested for the virus. 

In a statement on the school's website, Mr Pollock said: 

“I understand that there will be a variety of reactions to this decision amongst parents, and hope that all families will understand the developing situation and the changing and inconsistent advice given to the School.

“There are a number of pupils and staff who have vulnerable family members and it is the School’s duty of care to put in place the most secure of measures to minimise any possible infection, despite public policy.”

“The staff, pupils and families of Cransley are our highest concern, and whilst we understand the impact this may have on the education of the pupils, and disruption to working practice of parents, we believe this decision is justified.”

A second school in Cheshire has also been disrupted after pupils returned from a school trip in Italy.  

Brine Leas Academy in Nantwich has said that it will remain open but the Sixth Form College will close due to "staff shortages".

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