“I don’t think it’s safe” – Longridge mum unhappy as child returns to COVID-19 affected school

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A mum from Longridge doesn’t feel safe sending her child back to school after a teacher tested positive.   

Debbie Coughlan’s daughter was sent home from St Cecilia’s Roman Catholic High School in Longridge after a teacher tested positive for the virus on 5 September 2020.  

The school sent years seven, eight and nine home and asked 12 other teachers to self-isolate too. But the three year groups returned today.  

Debbie said: “I think it’s out of order that teachers are not having mandatory tests done before they return to work… they now want my child back after 10 days off and I still don’t think it’s safe.”  

She believes that “none of this would have happened” had there been better testing measures in place.  

Ivan Catlow, the head of the school said: “We follow the Public Health England guidelines and took precautions to keep our pupils and staff safe. I was very relieved to know that no one had contracted Coronavirus which suggests the actions I have taken are spot on. 

It was not in the equation to do routine testing because of the incubation periods for Coronavirus.” 

There are 28 schools in Lancashire with cases of Coronavirus, causing many to self-isolate just weeks after schools re-opening.  

However, Linda Millington, who has a child self-isolating, believes that schools are safe and remote learning is okay as a “substitute, but only for a short period.”  

The NASUWT teachers’ union has said the government could do more to reiterate the guidance to parents about when it is safe to be in school. 

Anna Howard, a mother of three, feels it is necessary for children to go to school, she said: “I feel that it is so important to get them back for so many reasons beyond their education. For their mental wellbeing, for socialising, for living really. 

We should look at other ways to control the pandemic before closing schools again.”