St Annes College Grammar School closes over coronavirus fears

A private school in Fylde has closed as a precaution against the coronavirus outbreak.

By Tony Durkin
Saturday, 14th March 2020, 12:33 pm
St Annes College Grammar School is closing until further notice
St Annes College Grammar School is closing until further notice

St Annes College Grammar School shut its senior school until further notice after classes on Friday, March 13, while, in a letter to parents, it says its junior school and nursery will remain open on Monday, March 16 and the following day to allow families to make child care arrangements, although parents will be allowed to keep their children at home on those days if they wish.

The step, taken, according to the letter, "to keep our children as safe as possible and delay the spread of coronavirus", comes as state schools are being instructed by the Government to remain open unless or until told otherwise.

According to its latest Ofsted report, St Annes College Grammar School, in Clifton Drive South, has 73 pupils currently on its roll. It serves youngsters aged two to 19.

A statement posted on its Facebook site on Friday said: "Due to the current coronavirus situation, we’ve decided to temporarily close SACGS.

"This is not a decision we’ve taken lightly and we’ll begin distance learning early next week, in order to ensure that our pupils’ education continues in a structured and supportive format."

A letter to parents the issued by principal Sheila Welsby, referring to "such difficult and uncertain times ", said: "The situation is now becoming serious, with conflicting advice being given by both politicians and medical experts.

"Our prime concerns are the health and safety of oyur children and their families.

"Looking at statistics and graphs outlining the growth and spread of this pandemic, we feel that our only option to keep our children as safe as possible and to delay the spread of coronavirus, is to temporarily close our school.

"As an independent school, we have the option to close before it is too late, whi,le state school, no matter how much they may want to, have no option but to remain open until allowed to close."

Another independent school, Rossall at Fleetwood, has announced that from Monday, pupils will be split into two 'zones' in a bid to reduce the risk of the virus being transmitted.