Parents say they were left confused after apparently being told their child should have been self-isolating shortly after they had been dropped off at school.

East-the-Water Primary School in Bideford has been criticised for the way it communicated information about positive Covid-19 cases to parents.

The school currently has three year groups and some members of staff self-isolating following positive coronavirus cases.

Recently a Year 5 pupil tested positive for Covid-19 resulting in the whole year group being told to self-isolate until next Monday, December 7.

Last weekend two members of staff then tested positive for coronavirus. The school says parents were notified on Monday morning from 8.20am onwards, and about 120 children in Year 2 and 3 are now in self-isolation.

East-the-Water Primary School in Bideford

However, some parents have told how they took their children to school as usual on Monday unaware of the situation and were then called back to collect them.

One parent, who asked to remain anonymous said: “There was confusion at the school on Monday morning when children were dropped off, then parents were called back to collect them as they should have been isolating.

“Parents haven’t been told the full information and we are only hearing from friends in these year groups effected.

“We are concerned Christmas will be affected. If there is a case after December 11, which looks highly likely, that’s a class of children needing to isolate and will not be able to see family over Christmas.”

Another parent said: “If two members of staff fell ill, and they aren’t supposed to be going through the classes, why have they sent home four classes?

“Parents collect children at the same times, and are not adhering to social distancing. The school has sent a message to parents, but we haven’t seen anyone from the school enforcing these changes.

“Yes, classes have isolated at different times, but for two whole years groups to isolate, it shows to me that social distancing isn’t important in the school.”

The school has reassured that it has followed all the correct government and health guidelines, and is ensuring its school community is kept as safe and informed as possible.

Headteacher Catherine Higley said: “We already had 28 children from Year 5 self-isolating because of a positive test. They are due to return on December 7.

“Over the weekend, two members of staff felt ill and had tests. Because of the timing of their positive results, we had to inform parents of children in Years 2 and 3 on Monday morning that they needed to self-isolate.

“This affects 120 children and they will be able to return to school on December 14.

“We acted to inform parents as soon as we knew of the positive results and we are following rigorously all the guidance from public health and the county council to keep our children and their families, our staff and the wider community as safe as possible.”

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Yesterday, Devon Live reported new figures showing a major drop in the number of coronavirus clusters recorded in Devon by the Government.

Numbers from November 20 to 26 show 12 clusters disappearing from the official data, with just one new cluster – in Heathfield and Liverton – being recorded. This has resulted in a net fall of 11 clusters.

Budleigh Salterton continues to register the most positive cases in the county with 27, up from 25 on Monday.

In Exeter, Wonford & St Loye’s has 21 cases, while Barnstaple and Sticklepath has 16 cases.

In Torbay, Higher Brixham has 14 cases – the same number as Hartland Coast in Torridge





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