A SHROPSHIRE school has been forced to close after 11 members of staff were told to self-isolate following a positive Covid-19 case.

The Community College in Bishop’s Castle will be closed until Tuesday, November 24.

However, Year 11 pupils will attend to complete mock examinations.

A joint statement from Shropshire Council and The Community College, Bishop’s Castle said: "Shropshire Council is working with Public Health England (PHE) Midlands after a positive case of Covid-19 at The Community College in Bishop’s Castle.

"The school has undertaken all Covid-19 secure measures in line with both Government and Shropshire Council local guidelines and health protection advice, including isolating all possible school ‘bubble’ contacts. "As a precaution, 11 members of staff, including the headteacher, who were close contacts are being asked to self-isolate for 14 days.

"Pupils who were close contacts are being contacted by the school and will also need to self-isolate in line with national guidance.

"The school has informed parents/guardians/carers and staff of the situation and measures being taken to make the school Covid-secure."

Rachel Robinson, Shropshire’s director of Public Health said: “We want to reassure students and parents/carers that the risk of infection remains low.

"The school has acted responsibly and taken all the necessary precautions to limit the spread of the virus, which in this case requires a class bubbles and members of staff to self-isolate, as well as a full closure.

“Anyone from the school community and their families who is symptomatic will be offered immediate testing. "Contact tracing is underway and if anyone is identified as a contact of a confirmed case of Covid-19, a contact advisor from Test and Trace will be in touch with appropriate advice.

“We will continue to work in partnership with Public Health England and the school as we continue to manage this situation.

“Over the past few weeks we have not only seen a continued rise in cases across Shropshire but increasing evidence of the spread of the virus beyond young people to older and potentially more vulnerable age groups.

“If you must go out to work or to buy essential items, it’s crucial that you maintain at least two metres from other people at all times and wear face coverings in indoor settings.

“The Government’s preventative measures, coupled with the continued efforts of Shropshire residents, will hopefully stop the situation from escalating further and protect our most vulnerable residents.”

Reuben Thorley, headteacher at The Community College said while the school do not have a direct Covid outbreak they have a 'considerable number of staff' – both teaching and support staff – who are required to self-isolate.

“This ultimately means that we have found ourselves in a position where there are too few staff available to teach, support and supervise children in school," he added.

“The school will be closed until Tuesday, November 24, due to staff shortages.

"During this time all learning will take place through the Office 365 SharePoint remote learning provision.

“I understand this decision will cause some disruption for parents and carers, but my priority has to be the health and wellbeing of our pupils, staff and the wider community.”

If you have any queries or concerns, call Shropshire Council’s Education Line on 0345 678 9008

The support line is open from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. Press 5 for back to school enquiries.