A headteacher has spoken of his upset at his colleagues after a “large number” of school staff became infected with COVID-19, apparently after attending an event.
In a letter on the school website, John Aspin, the head of Holy Trinity Stacksteads Church of England Primary School in Bacup, Lancashire, criticised staff who went to a social event at the home of a former colleague on 5 September.
Aspin said he had been “wondering what has gone wrong in the school” after eleven of his employees become infected with the coronavirus, and that he believes some of those were people who didn’t attend the event but were subsequently infected by those who went.
Aspin said that on Monday he was told a “significant number of staff” went alongside people not employed at Holy Trinity.
Watch: What are the complications linked to coronavirus?
“In doing so they were not breaking any of the lockdown rules in place at the time, but what they did do was jeopardise the hard work that had been put in creating bubbles within school, and numerous cleaning and organisational protocols, by mixing with each other,” he said.
“Had I been aware of the event I would have told them that they should not attend because of the risks, but sadly I was not informed.
“Given that to date eight of the staff members who attended the event have contracted COVID-19, and a further three, who did not attend, have subsequently been infected during this week most likely as a result of working in close proximity to those infected at the event, the dangers of attending such events has been brought into sharp focus.
“The virus can be picked up at any time and in any place, and it is now clear that the school’s procedures are robust and not at fault for the outbreak.”
He added that he apologised to parents for the “upheaval and worry that you have had to endure” and insisted the individuals concerned were “very misguided but not malicious” and would regret their decision.
Aspin said he “made my feelings of disappointment known to the staff who attended the event” and apologised to colleagues who did not attend, “especially to those who have now contracted the virus”.
Coronavirus: what happened today
Click here to sign up to the latest news and information with our daily Catch-up newsletter