Northampton specialist school announces week long closure after another positive Covid-19 test

The school will be deep cleaned while it is closed to staff and pupils

Friday, 25th September 2020, 5:50 pm

A Northampton school that specifically caters for children with autism and learning disabilities has announced a temporary closure after several Covid-19 cases.

Purple Oaks Academy in Whiston Road, Kingsthorpe will not open during the week of September 21 - 25 to allow for some self-isolation periods to end and to deal with staff shortages.

The decision comes after the academy confirmed on Friday (September 18) that it had more than one positive Covid-19 case and that two bubbles were self-isolating.A source told the Chronicle & Echo that there had been nine positive tests, however this has not been confirmed by Greenwood Academies Trust, the company that runs the academy, or by Public Health Northamptonshire.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Another positive Covid-19 test has been confirmed at the school, which will now remain closed this week.

Although the school has not yet confirmed exact numbers of positive tests, it has informed Chronicle & Echo of another case, which has prompted the week long closure.

A spokeswoman for Purple Oaks Academy said: "The health, safety and wellbeing of our pupils, parents, staff and wider school community is of the utmost importance which is why, following confirmation of another case of Covid-19, together with a number of staff who are self-isolating as a precautionary measure, and in consultation with Public Health England and Public Health Northamptonshire, we have taken the decision to close the academy for one week.

"This will allow time for some of the self-isolation periods to conclude, temporary staff shortages to be addressed, and a deep clean of the entire premises to be undertaken.

"As an academy, we are committed to ensuring the wellbeing of our pupils, parents and staff, so during this time our team of highly specialised staff will remain in regular contact with parents and carers to provide the necessary remote learning and pastoral support.

"We appreciate this may be a challenging time for our school community and we will continue to work incredibly hard in line with advice from local health authorities to enable our pupils' safe return to school as soon as possible."

When asked on Friday, Public Health Northamptonshire said it would not be releasing any information about outbreaks 'involving small numbers' and that details would only be made public if there is 'considered to be a wider risk to the population'.

Message from the editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

In order for us to continue to provide trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper.

Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the highest standards in the world. The dramatic events of 2020 are having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers and consequently the advertising that we receive. We are now more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news by buying a copy of our newspaper.

Thank you