Scarborough College pilots Covid trial to stop pupils isolating at home

Scarborough College is one of the first schools in the country to take part in a clinical trial that will stop pupils having to isolate at home.

By George Buksmann
Tuesday, 30th March 2021, 4:34 pm

As one of a few hundred schools in the country, and one of a small number of independent schools, the College will join the clinical trial that will allow close contacts of positive cases to remain in school.

Currently, pupils who test positive for Covid need to self-isolate for ten days, while anyone identified as a close contact of that person will need to do the same.

This has meant severe disruption to schools up and down the country, as small year groups and sometimes entire Year Groups were sent home.

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Scarborough College is one of the first schools in the country to take part in the trial.

The clinically overseen trial means pupils and staff can continue going to school, so long as they test negative each morning.

A school spokesperson pointed out that participation in this trial is not mandatory and pupils can still choose to isolate instead.

“It allows pupils to continue their education in the school building and I am sure parents will opt for their child to take part. It is also important to point out that while close contacts participating would not have to isolate during school hours, they must still isolate at all other times.”

Guy Emmett, Headmaster of Scarborough College, said: “From the very first day of lockdown, we have been looking at ways to reduce the disruption to teaching and learning to an absolute minimum.

"Now that face-to-face teaching has resumed again, these trials mean we can keep children and colleagues in school when there is a positive test in their bubble or year group. With the testing in place, it means children remain safe, which is our first priority, and their education is unaffected.”

The trials started with a handful of schools in January 2021 and will continue with more schools after Easter.