Bermondsey and Peckham schools report confirmed cases of coronavirus

Josh Salisbury (23 September, 2020)

Parents have spoken of their concern after two schools are among the latest to report Covid cases

39109Phoenix Primary School in Bermondsey

A Bermondsey primary school has reported a confirmed case of coronavirus, forcing a “small number” of children to self-isolate.

Phoenix Primary, on Marlborough Grove, sent a letter to parents about the confirmed case on Monday, saying children who had been in close, prolonged contact with that person would need to stay off school for fourteen days.

The letter, from headteacher Simon Assig, states: “We have been advised by Public Health England that there has been a confirmed case of COVID-19 within the school.

“We know that you may find this concerning, but we are continuing to monitor the situation and are working closely with Public Health England.”

One concerned parent of a child at Phoenix, who did not wish to be named, said: “Parents are not always honest, so schools have no way of knowing if families have been abroad and are supposed to be self isolating.

“I don’t think the schools are checking this as they should be.

“I think schools should also be checking temperatures as children enter schools. This may seem extreme to some people but it’s a measure that other places such as Chessington are taking and they have hundreds of visitors a day.”

Separately, a school in Peckham Rye, which provides for disabled children, has also confirmed a coronavirus case among a member of staff.

Tuke School, a secondary school, told parents in a letter dated September 17: “The staff member is asymptomatic.

“They did not attend school when they were infectious, so it is highly unlikely they would not have passed on the infection in school.

“I have followed Public health England guidance and have taken advice from the London Coronavirus Response team and they have advised that the risk is low.

“There is no need to keep your child away from school or school activities because of this individual’s illness.”

One parent who sends their child to the school, said they were concerned about the case.

“I’m just concerned about the lack of safety within schools of disability,” they said. “No visors, no masks, no social distancing as staff need to be hands on.

“Most of all if this person was asymptomatic, showing no symptoms, how does the school know when was their infectious period?”

They claimed: “Before this staff was isolating she could have already spread the virus. And why has this school not been closed for a few days to be cleaned and disinfected?”

The headteacher of Tuke School directed a News request for comment to Southwark Council. Phoenix School had not responded at the time of going to press.

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