AN INFANT school in the New Forest has closed due to a confirmed coronavirus case within a week of welcoming more pupils back through the school gates.

Pennington Infant School was closed yesterday after a pupil tested positive for Covid-19 over the weekend.

Children in the school ‘bubble’ of the pupil who tested positive have been told they need to self-isolate for 14 days.

The acting headteacher said the “difficult decision” to close the site in Priestlands Road was based on “initial precautionary advice”.

New Forest Post:

Following talks with Public Health England yesterday, the school is set to reopen tomorrow following a deep clean.

Amy Wake, acting headteacher at Pennington Infant School, said: “Over the weekend, we were made aware that one our pupils was confirmed as having COVID-19.

“Acting on initial precautionary advice, I and the governors took the difficult decision to close the school.

"However, a further review and risk assessment by Public Health England on Monday morning has concluded that only those in the pupil’s school ‘bubble’ need to self-isolate.

"Therefore, I have arranged for a deep-clean of the school and intend to open again on Wednesday, June 10, for the rest of the school. Parents and carers are being notified accordingly.”

An earlier statement that had been released to parents by Kirstie Richards, headteacher of neighbouring Pennington Junior School, had suggested the infant school would be closed for two weeks “as a precaution”.

However, both Ms Wake and Hampshire County Council confirmed the intention was for the infant school to open again on Wednesday, June 10.

New Forest Post:

A spokesperson for Hampshire County Council said: “We are aware that a pupil at Pennington Infant School has tested positive for Covid-19. Public Health England has liaised with the school on Monday and, having carried out a detailed risk assessment, has advised the school that only those in the pupil’s school ‘bubble’ need to self-isolate for 14 days.

“In view of this guidance, the headteacher plans to open again on Wednesday for children in the rest of the school.”

As reported, schools welcomed more pupils back from the start of last week as part of the government’s easing of lockdown measures.

Over the past two months, vulnerable children and sons and daughters of key workers have still been able to attend school, however, from last week all pupils in reception, year one and year six were strongly encouraged to go back to school.

A decison on whether more pupils could be back at schools in the coming weeks, is due to be made today by government.