Covid-19: South London school forced to close over Omicron cases

A South London school has been forced to close due to a Covid outbreak, including Omicron cases.

Dulwich Hamlet Junior School in Dulwich has shut its doors to students because of a surge in staff and students testing positive for Covid – including the Omicron variant.

The Charter Schools Educational Trust, which runs the academy, said bosses had decided to move all learning online from this week as a precaution.

It confirmed the school, which teaches pupils aged seven to 11, will remain closed for the rest of Monday

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Management will decide whether to reopen the school on December 14 at a meeting later today.

The Charter Schools Educational Trust said: “[We] reluctantly took the decision on Sunday evening to move all learning online for pupils at Dulwich Hamlet Junior School on Monday 13 December.

“This follows a rapid increase in the number of positive COVID cases among both staff and pupils, including some which have been confirmed as the Omicron variant.

“The Trust and school leaders had to make this decision in the absence of direct access to advice on Sunday from Public Health England, and is in line with current government guidance.

“It is hoped that most pupils, if not all, will be back in school from Tuesday 14 December.

“This will be confirmed later today once the impact of staff absences and increasing pupil cases has been fully risk assessed.”

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Self-isolation rules are due to change from Tuesday [December 14] so that fully vaccinated adults who are a close contact of someone with Covid-19 will be allowed to carry on life as normal, provided they take daily lateral flow tests.

The rules will also be relaxed for children aged five to 18 years and six months who are identified as a close contact.

The Charter Schools Education Trust said it hoped these rule changes would allow most pupils to return to the classroom by December 14.

It added: “The Trust’s intention is to ensure that staff and pupils are kept safe in school and that pupils continue to receive a full education in the last week of term, hopefully onsite for as many pupils as possible.”

Dulwich Hamlet Junior School was due to close for Christmas on December 17, before reopening to pupils next year on January 5.

If the outstanding-rated academy remains closed until the New Year, students will miss out on their Christmas lunch and festive hat day planned for December 14.

Christmas parties planned for pupils on December 15 and December 16 will also be cancelled.

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