Headteacher shuts primary school after child reveals 'link' to suspected case of coronavirus

A school in Lancashire has closed after a child has been linked with a suspected case of coronavirus.

By Matthew Calderbank
Saturday, 14th March 2020, 8:09 am
Stalmine Primary School in Mill Lane, Stalmine has closed today (Friday, March 13) due to environmental health reasons
Stalmine Primary School in Mill Lane, Stalmine has closed today (Friday, March 13) due to environmental health reasons

Lancashire County Council has confirmed that Stalmine Primary School in Over Wyre has closed with immediate effect today (Friday, March 13).

The Council has reassured parents that there is no confirmed case of Covid-19 at the school and the closure is merely a precautionary measure.

But it revealed that the decision to close was made because one of its pupils reportedly "has a link to a suspected case".

"This has not been confirmed, so it was merely precautionary from the head teacher," explained a spokesman for Lancashire County Council.

The Council said the closure is "not what we as a council would have advised", but said the decision ultimately lies with the school.

It is the only Council maintained school that has been closed in Lancashire today.

Sarah Callaghan, director of education and skills at Lancashire County Council, said: "Our priority is always to safeguard the health and well-being of all of Lancashire's residents, including pupils and staff at our schools.

"The guidance we have received from the Department for Health and Social Care, the Department for Education and Public Health England (PHE), and which has been shared with schools in Lancashire, states that schools should not close in these circumstances.

"The current guidance states that even if a case is confirmed, in most cases closure of a childcare or educational setting will be unnecessary, although this decision lies with the school.

"We have not advised any school in Lancashire to close."

The primary school is the only educational establishment in the village of Stalmine, which is home to around 1,500 people.