School shuts because self-isolating site manager has keys

Temple Meadow Primary School and Nursery in Cradley Heath, West Midlands (Picture: SWNS)
Temple Meadow Primary School has shut temporarily after its site manager tested positive for coronavirus. (SWNS)

A primary school has decided to shut because nobody had a key to get in after its site manager tested positive for coronavirus. 

Temple Meadow Primary School, in Cradley Heath, West Midlands, will be closed until Thursday due to an apparent lack of a “suitable key holder”.

It comes after the site manager tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday night, meaning the school couldn’t get access to open the site.

Authorities said the assistant site manager was also unavailable to open the school, because he had been in contact with his superior.

The school will re-open on Thursday (Picture: SWNS).
The school will reopen on Thursday. (SWNS)

Confused parents have criticised the school’s decision to close for three days, with some offering to go and fetch the keys themselves.

A mum who did not wish to be named said: “For the school to close because they can’t get a key to open up is the most bizarre thing we’ve ever heard.

“We all understand precautions have to be taken during the pandemic but this is way over-the-top and the lamest excuse I’ve ever seen.

“Why not just clean or disinfect the set of keys, leave them outside and wear gloves to pick them up?

“We thought it was due to an outbreak, but it’s just down to one member of staff who is now self-isolating.

“It’s a shame the kids’ education has to suffer because nobody has a key to get into the school. Imagine if it this happened at a big shop, somebody would lose their job.”

Watch: People in England face £10,000 fines for not self-isolating

Temple Meadow headteacher Cathy Walsh wrote in a letter to parents on Monday confirming the reasons it had shut and saying there had been no wider COVID outbreak. 

Walsh said on Wednesday that the school would be reopening for most students on Thursday after authorities “found solutions”.

She added: “We have a complex site at Temple Meadow but I am delighted to say we have found solutions to the issues that have arisen. 

“We are now in a position to reopen to all year groups – apart from Year 5 – on Thursday (22 October). 

“Year 5 is currently closed due to a separate and unrelated positive COVID-19 case in our school community.

“The safety of our staff and pupils on our school site is always our top priority.

“We work closely with public health professionals and continue to follow all the advice and guidance to keep our staff and pupils safe.”

Lisa McNally, the local director of public health, said: “We are pleased the team at Temple Meadow Primary have found a solution to reopen this week.

“Parents and carers can be assured that schools have good infection control measures in place.

“We are continuing to do all we can, working with schools, to keep children and young people safely back in education.”

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