Custom House school closed due to 'a number of' Omicron cases

Calverton Primary School in King George Avenue

Calverton Primary School in King George Avenue - Credit: Google

A school in Custom House has been closed down because of "a number of confirmed Omicron coronavirus cases".

Calverton Primary School will be shut for the rest of the term, on the advice of the council's public health team.

Unlike with other variants, those who come into close contact with a person who has been infected with Omicron - said to be more infectious than other strains - must self-isolate for 10 days.

Every pupil at the school in King George Avenue has been advised to self-isolate until December 18, and to do a PCR test and lateral flows daily throughout that time. 

The school, which has 432 pupils, will reopen after Christmas on January 5.

The school refused to reveal how many cases of Omicron have been identified amongst pupils and staff.

However, Newham Council has since confirmed the numbers: one positive case and five suspected - as of the time the closure was announced.

A letter sent to parents by head teacher Caroline Crompton on December 9 confirmed the closure.

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"At present all who have confirmed positive have presented with mild symptoms and in some cases have been asymptomatic," it reads.

Ms Crompton added: "We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience this will cause - the safety of all of our children is paramount."

One parent told the Recorder: "Lots of parents were saying last week that they weren't going to bring their kids into school and they were being warned they would be fined if they didn't.

"Covid is spreading like wildfire. There must be at least 40 cases that I'm aware of."

A spokesperson for the school confirmed that lessons will be delivered virtually until the end of the school term next Friday (December 17).

Newham Council said its public health team advised the closure in order to "reduce risks of Covid-19 transmission, and due to staffing issues".

A spokesperson added: "At this stage there is no indication that other schools are affected. Schools and settings are contacting public health and/or LCRC where they have outbreaks for advice".

The first case of the new variant was detected in the borough on December 1.

The latest data, published by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), stated there were 18 cases of the variant in Newham as of December 10.