Dartford Science & Technology College closes over Covid-19

An entire school in Dartford has closed its doors for two weeks after a third confirmed Covid-19 case.

Dartford Science and Technology College is to shut from today (November 11) “to prevent additional contamination risk and cope with falling staffing levels.”

Five staff members and 150 pupils in the Year 9 bubble were sent home and told to isolate on Monday (November 9), but after a third case was confirmed the following a day, the principal “reluctantly decided to shut DSTC” until November 23.

Positive cases were confirmed in years 8, 9 and 10 of the girls secondary school, so all pupils in those years must self-isolate, whilst the other pupils will also now be working from home.

However, examinations for post-16 students will still go ahead as only a few students from the same bubble are involved so the exams are judged safe to run.

On November 9, the principal Mrs Davis informed parents via a letter home that a member of the school community had tested positive for Covid-19, thought to be a Year 8 student.

Whilst concerning, the school said the parents of the students who had been in contact with the individual who tested positive have been informed that their child must self-isolate, and the school remained open.

But on Tuesday, the principal confirmed two further cases.

“Following a further positive case of Vovid-19 amongst the student body – this time Year 9, I have reluctantly decided to shut DSTC until 23rd November 2020.

“This is to safeguard staff and students and prevent additional contamination risk and cope with falling staffing levels.

“This is not a decision I have taken lightly, and it has been made in conjunction with Governors and the Area Education Officer.

She also said that all Covid-positive students last came to school on Friday, and therefore the isolation period would end on November 23.

The principal stressed that this would not be a holiday, with staff setting work for their normal lessons, which will be taught over Google Meets.

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