Half-term in self-isolation for more than 100 pupils at Exeter school

Lockdown has begun early for more than 100 pupils at an Exeter secondary school who have had to self-isolate during half-term due to a confirmed case of coronavirus.

West Exe School has for the second time asked pupils to self-isolate, but this time in a different year group. It is the third separate incident of Covid-19 the school has had to dealt with.

During half term, on Monday, October 26, the school, which is part of the Ted Wragg Trust, were notified that a student in Year 11 had tested positive for Covid-19.

Following advice from the Department for Education and Public Health England (PHE), the school were advised that 108 students in Year 11 needed to self-isolate until today, November 4.

West Exe School, Exeter

All parents and carers of those students who needed to self-isolate were immediately informed.

Although many pupils have returned back to school this week, students at West Exe remain on half-term and are now due back into school until November 9.

A spokesperson for the Ted Wragg Trust said: “We really feel for the Year 11 students who had to isolate during their well-earned half term break. They have worked incredibly hard this year and have all attended three to five hours per week of additional lessons.

“The health, safety and wellbeing of all of our staff and young people is our absolute priority. We have put extensive measures in place to mitigate against the risk of transmission.

“This is the second time in which we’ve had to ask students to self-isolate, both being separate, isolated cases, originating from outside the school.

“We will continue to monitor the situation working closely with PHE, doing all we can to reduce close contact.

“Please be assured that the Ted Wragg Trust is committed to the safety and wellbeing of all of its students and staff and are following guidance from Public Health England, to ensure that our school communities and those around them are best protected.”

On October 15, a letter was sent to parents stating that a Year 9 student had not been in school since October 1 and a member of staff had not been in school since October 7 after testing positive for coronavirus.

It was confirmed that the cases were unrelated and that as a result of all the relevant safety measures in place in the school to mitigate against the risk of transmission, the advice from the Department for Education was that no further action was required

The following day, another letter was sent to parents starting there had been a positive coronavirus case in Year 9 which has resulted in 33 students in the year group and one member of staff, who have been identified as being in close contact with the affected individual, being asked to self-isolate for 14 days until October 27.

The three cases were confirmed as being unrelated.

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Figures which break down positive Covid-19 cases by age group and local authority area are showing that the 20-29 age group has the highest number – except in Torbay.

In Plymouth, Cornwall and the Devon County Council area, the 20-29 age group, as of last week, is still seeing the highest number of cases.

But in Torbay, that is only the third highest age range, with both the 40-49 and 50-59 age ranges seeing more positive tests, the latter having the highest amount.

The figures related to positive cases reported this week between October 28 and November 3, although do not necessarily relate to specimens from that time period.

Devon Live – Devon News