Bermondsey school rejects ‘unfounded coronavirus allegations’ after pupil ski trip to Italy

Josh Salisbury (26 February, 2020)

"The situation is being taken seriously and we are monitoring the medical advice regularly" said principal Mike Baxter

21020City of London Academy Southwark (pictured Feb 2018)

A Bermondsey school firmly rejected “unfounded allegations” today that any of its students had contracted coronavirus on a ski trip to Italy.

Staff and students at City of London Academy Southwark went on a trip to Santa Caterina di Valfurva during the half-term break in northern Italy, which has been hit with an outbreak of cases.

Principal Mike Baxter said he had been advised by the authorities that a quarantine or school shut-down was not necessary as COVID-19 symptoms were not present.

A small number of other schools across the UK have taken the move following Italian skiing trips.

“There are no reported cases of COVID-19 from the resort, nor any of the surrounding towns and villages,” he said.

“In addition, the students travelled to and from the resort via bus, rather than flying.

“The government is not advising Principals in my situation to shut the school or impose quarantines on staff and students.”

Image: Konrad Zielinski

Government guidance is that those who have visited a region north of Pisa since February 19 should self-isolate for two weeks only if they have symptoms.

Parents have expressed concerns following the ski trip, although pupils visited a resort which has not seen coronavirus cases.

Senior staff at the secondary school have reported no cases of pupils experiencing coronavirus symptoms, and said that, on the available information, any claim that any students had contracted coronavirus was “simply untrue.”

The letter also states that attendance in classes today has been normal, while the school has extensively stocked up on tissues and hand sanitisers.

“I myself am a father of two young children and like you want to be assured that we are doing what is right,” added Mr Baxter. “I believe this to be the case.”

The government’s latest advice on the coronavirus can be found at the following link. The webpage is regularly updated with guidance.

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Claire Buck says:

The incubation period is 2 weeks. Those children and teaching staff returning should have been told to stay home for that 2 weeks. This would mean the school would not need to close.
This is too late now because tbey have all been back in school since Monday.

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