Hertsmere Jewish Primary School (HJPS) has reported “several” confirmed cases of Covid-19 just days after pupils and staff returned for the new term.
Following advice from Public Health England, all children from Year 2 and one class in Year 5 have been asked to stay at home and self-isolate.
Staff of the Year 5 class are also self-isolating.
In an email seen by Jewish News, HJPS headteacher Rita Alak-Levi advised that “all other children should continue to come to school as normal, but if you know you have been in direct contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID, then please inform the school as soon as possible.”
It adds: “We know this is an extremely unsettling period for you and your children. We would like to reassure you that we will continue to do everything we possibly can during this difficult time to support you all.”
In a statement commenting on the situation, Partnerships for Jewish Schools (PaJeS), the umbrella organisation for Jewish schools, said: “Headteachers and school leaders have dedicated the summer holidays to ensuring schools are as safe as possible.
“Working closely with the local government and health authorities they have implemented strategies that will help protect students and staff.
“It is sadly inevitable that there will be occasions where classes will be asked to remain at home and self isolate.
“This is a strategy used in schools around the world and has been shown to help protect the school environment and minimise further spread of the virus.
“Parents should be reassured by the actions taken by school leaders to date and can be confident that we are all working to try and ensure the safest possible environment for children and staff.”
News of cases at HJPS, in Radlett, comes in the same week that Yavneh College, in Borehamwood, wrote to parents and students after a number of Year 13 pupils tested positive for coronavirus days before the term was due to begin.
Headteacher Spencer Lewis said “most are with mild symptoms” and were self-isolating.
Both schools are situated in Hertsmere, which has reported a rise in positive coronavirus cases in the last week.
On Friday, Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) tweeted that there had been a “small but growing number of positive COVID-19 cases in the Borehamwood area, primarily among young adults between 16 and 17 years old”.
HCC issued an urgent plea to local residents to “act now and stop the spread” by wearing face coverings, as well as maintain social distancing and hand washing.
Meanwhile, Barnet Council – where JCOSS and JFS are situated – has also reported a “small and steady increase” of postive cases over the last week.
HJPS has been contacted for comment.