Schools delay re-opening due to Weston hospital closure

Primary school genericSchools in England can re-open from Monday to specific year groups

Schools in North Somerset have delayed re-opening after the spike in Covid-19 cases at Weston General Hospital.

Two trusts that run schools in North Somerset have delayed re-opening schools until 8 June for more children in Reception, Year One and Year Six.

Explaining the delay both trusts referred to the closure of Weston General Hospital on Monday following its spike in coronavirus cases.

North Somerset Council has been approached for comment.

The Lighthouse Schools Partnership runs 21 schools, mainly in North Somerset, and said it would re-open for limited year groups on Monday, 8 June.

‘Higher testing rate’

The Lighthouse Schools Partnership said its board had considered the local Covid-19 situation.

It stated: “They also discussed the implications of the closure of Weston General Hospital and the outbreak of the virus there.

“Subsequent to their meeting they sought further advice from the Director of Public Health for North Somerset.

“The overall position shows that right now the pandemic is not declining at the same rate in North Somerset as in neighbouring areas; although that may be a consequence of a higher testing rate in this area.”

Proximity to hospital

The Extend Learning Academies Network (ELAN) trust runs eight primary schools across Weston-super-Mare.

It will now re-open on Monday, 8 June.

One of its schools, Bournville Primary, is located next to the hospital.

It stated on its website: “As a result of this, and a rise in COVID-19 cases in Weston super Mare in particular, because of the close proximity of our school to this facility, trustees have decided to delay opening the school to Pre School, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 pupils by one week to monitor how the situation develops.”

In a letter to schools, North Somerset Council said it would support any decision schools made about re-opening.

The NHS Test and Trace programme has been rolled out across England, with additional capacity being created in Weston due to the hospital closure.

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