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Ilfracombe Academy in Devon sends home 32 pupils after they tested positive for Covid


High school sends 32 grade 7 students home after testing positive for Covid just days before first trimester

  • Ilfracombe Academy in Devon confirmed decision to send students home by letter
  • High school says there have been 38 cases of Covid since the start of the trimester
  • Cases were detected using a lateral flow test and students now need to take a PCR test

A secondary school has confirmed that 32 of its 7th grade students tested positive for Covid-19 just days after returning for the start of the new school year.

Ilfracombe Academy in Devon sent all students home for further examination.

Another single positive case was reported in Year 8 and that five other positive cases had previously been reported at the school since the start of the school year, bringing the total to 38 cases.

The school has also faced positive tests from students who reported positive during the summer holidays and were delayed in school.

The timetable states that the students would return on Tuesday 7 September.

In a letter to parents, headteacher Steve Rogers said: “Unfortunately, today we recorded 32 positive LFD tests in Year 7 and one positive in Year 8.

Ilfracombe Academy in Devon (pictured) has confirmed that 32 of its 7th grade students tested positive for Covid-19 just days after returning last week for the start of the new school year

“These students have been sent home to book a PCR test.

“Yesterday we also informed you about three students who have had a positive PCR test who have not attended school, and two students who have been in school this semester.

“We’ve been in contact with PHE today.

“They have advised that our institution should not take any further action at this stage.

‘There are a few students who tested positive with a PCR test during the summer holidays and because they have no current or new symptoms, they could go back to school on Monday.

“The guideline states that anyone who has previously received a positive Covid-19 PCR test result should not be retested within 90 days of that test unless they develop new symptoms of Covid-19.

Ilfracombe Academy Headteacher Steve Rogers

Ilfracombe Academy Headteacher Steve Rogers

“We know you may find this worrying and we continue to monitor the situation closely in conjunction with Public Health England.

‘This letter is intended to inform you about the current situation and to give advice on how to support your child.

Rest assured that for most people, the coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness.

“The Ilfracombe Academy will remain fully open and your child should continue as usual if they remain healthy.

“We encourage household members age 11 and older to continue LFD testing twice a week to quickly identify cases.”

The school had also informed parents that each of its classrooms is equipped with its own special mechanical ventilation system to provide fresh, clean air directly from outside.

Mr Rogers said: ‘Our system has recently been serviced and is running at full capacity to ensure that students and staff receive the best possible ventilation.

“Of course, when it comes to fresh air, there is no substitute for open windows.

‘Here at The Ilfracombe Academy we have a policy of open windows and doors in our school to further promote airflow.

‘Fresh air, from both mechanical and natural sources, ensures that our school’s students, staff and visitors can breathe easy as they get through the day.’


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