Dales primary schools close due to coronavirus

Reeth Primary School.

Two Dales primary schools have closed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Reeth and Gunnerside primary schools have announced they have shut from today.

A statement on their website states: “Our schools have closed from 18.3.20 to reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission.”

Headteacher Gordon Stainsby confirmed however that the closure was not because they had a confirmed case of the virus.

He said the step was taken because they had a high percentage of staff that fell into the high risk category.

It is understood dozens of pupils at other schools across Richmondshire are now off due to the virus after their families have been advised to self-isolate or they have been kept away as a precaution.

However, schools are staying open for now.

In a letter to parents Amy Rice, chief executive of St Margaret Clitherow Catholic Academy Trust, which runs St Francis Xavier in Richmond, reassured parents about what they were doing to keep your children safe.
She added: “The safety and wellbeing of our community of 17 schools is our top priority and for this reason we are following the very best available advice.

“Head teachers and their teams are working hard to plan for all scenarios, ensuring that we have the most effective arrangements possible in place.

“At present there are to be no school closures. We continue to be responsive to changing circumstances and to take sensible measures to protect our children, our staff and our visitors.”

Colin Scott, head at Risedale College, has urged parents to reassure their children about the virus.

“Please make sure you that talk to your children about the subject of coronavirus and reassure them.

“Sometimes children only have half the information they need and often from unreliable sources, which can make them worry.

“Encourage your child to take an interest in current affairs from well-informed and trustworthy sources such as BBC Newsround.”