PUPILS at an Oxford school have been told they must continue to attend classes after a staff member tested positive for coronavirus.

The Cherwell School in Summertown, advised pupils and parents that an unnamed employee had contracted Covid-19 and was self-isolating.

The school has not revealed whether the staff member is a teacher nor at which of the school's two adjacent sites on opposire sides of Marston Ferry Road, they are based.

In a letter to parents, headteacher Chris Price said: "We have been advised by Public Health England that there has been a confirmed case of Covid-19 within the school relating to a member of staff.

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"In line with the guidance the school is given we have reported the matter to the Public Health England Protection Team. They have investigated and have informed us that there are no close contacts that would need isolating.

"Our staff member is now self-isolating in line with protocols."

Sharing a template letter from Public Health England, he said: "We know that you may find this concerning but we are continuing to monitor the situation and are working closely with Public Health England.

"The school remains open and your child should continue to attend if they remain well."

He added: "I do fully understand that this will be a worrying time for you. Even though we have been assured that there are no close contacts, staff or students, who do need to self-isolate I thought it important in the interests of transparency to provide you with this information.

"At the same time, as I know you will appreciate, this does need to remain a confidential matter for the staff member concerned and we will not be able to respond to questions about this."

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"The Public Health England Protection Team were very positive about the approaches the school is taking in relation to our setting. These include: the requirement that people who are ill stay at home; regular hand washing and sanitising; enhanced cleaning arrangements; the reduction of contacts so that the students operate within their own individual year group zones; staggered arrival and departure times; Staff maintaining distance from students and other staff as far possible; Staff and students using face coverings where recommended.

"We will continue to follow all of the guidance and support all of our students and staff in school "moving forward."


Parents were issued the following instructions:

What to do if your child develops symptoms of COVID 19:

  • If your child develops symptoms of COVID-19, they must not come to school and should remain at home for at least 10 days from the date when their symptoms appeared. Anyone with symptoms will be eligible for testing and this can be arranged via https://www.nhs.uk/ask-for-a-coronavirus-test or by calling 119.
  • All other household members who remain well, must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. This includes anyone in your ‘Support Bubble’.
  • The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill.
  • Household members should not go to work, school or public areas and exercise should be taken within the home.
  • If you require help with buying groceries, other shopping or picking up medication, or walking a dog, you should ask friends or family. Alternatively, you can order your shopping online and medication by phone or online.
  • Household members staying at home for 14 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community.
  • If you are able, move any vulnerable individuals (such as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions) out of your home, to stay with friends or family for the duration of the home isolation period.


The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of:

  • a new continuous cough
  • a high temperature
  • a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia)

For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness.

If your child or anyone in the household does develop symptoms, you can seek advice from NHS 111 at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/check-if-you-have-coronavirus-symptoms/ or by phoning 111.

How to stop COVID-19 spreading

There are things you can do to help reduce the risk of you and anyone you live with getting ill with COVID19

  • Do wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
  • Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • Wash your hands as soon as you get home
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • Put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards