Dagenham school sends students home in coronavirus precaution

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Fears over the spread of coronavirus has forced a Dagenham school to send home students and staff who recently returned from a ski trip.

Sydney Russell School, in Parsloes Avenue, has sent home more than 30 pupils who were on the school trip to Italy last week. More than 250 cases of the virus have been confirmed in northern Italy and the outbreak has been linked to 11 deaths.

Sydney Russell principal Janis Davies said the pupils were not travelling in the quarantined area and had not shown symptoms. But the school has sent them home for 48 hours as a precaution.

Ms Davies said: “All staff and students on the trip have been sent home and parents have been asked to keep them home for 48 hours. I believe it is important that we err on the side of caution. I will keep the situation under constant review and adapt our actions as necessary.

“I am in direct contact with NHS England and Public Health England. Whilst we have no cases of the virus, this action was taken in order to ensure the safety of all children and to completely minimise any risk of infection.”

It comes a week after the school cancelled a visit from 28 Chinese students as part of a student exchange programme.

Ms Davies added: “Due to the recent unfortunate events that have been happening in China, we have had to cancel their visit for safeguarding reasons to protect our students. We will always put our children’s safety first.

“The decision was mutual, both parties believed it would be best not to put any children at risk.”

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Rachael Burford

Local Democracy Reporter

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