Coronavirus: Academy chain closes schools because it has some ‘students of Italian origin’

Eleanor Busby
Khalsa Academy Wolverhampton is one of the schools that has been closed: Google Streetview

An academy chain has closed three of its schools over the coronavirus scare because it has “some students of Italian origin”.

Schools in Wolverhampton, Buckinghamshire and London run by Khalsa Academies Trust will shut for two days for a “deep clean” as a “precautionary measure”.

A letter to parents from the chain said there were no confirmed cases of coronavirus within any of the three schools and they do not “suspect there to be any such cases at this present time.”

The decision comes after Public Health England said its general advice was not to close schools in an attempt to stem the spread of coronavirus – a message echoed by the health secretary, Matt Hancock.

But on Wednesday parents were told three schools run by Khalsa Academies Trust would close based on advice by the government and because the schools “have some students of Italian origin”.

It comes after authorities in Italy reported the number of people infected in the country grew to 447 and 12 people had died.

Across the UK, at least eight schools have closed while others have sent pupils home amid fears they may have been exposed to coronavirus during half-term trips to northern Italy.

Travellers returning to the UK from northern Italy were told they may need to self-isolate as part of measures to stop the spread of illness.

The letter to parents, published on the websites of the Khalsa Academy in Wolverhampton and Atam Academy in Redbridge, stated: “Please rest assured the closure of the three schools is purely a precautionary measure, as we are placing the safety and wellbeing of our students and staff as our top priority.

“There are no confirmed cases of Covid-19 within any of the three schools, nor do we suspect there to be any such cases at this present time.”

The Khalsa Academies Trust has been approached for comment by The Independent.

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