A SCHOOL in Derry with a suspected case of coronavirus has had its request to close denied by the Department of Education.
Ebrington Primary and Nursery School, based on Limavady Road in Derry, announced the news to parents via a letter which they posted on their school website, where school principal Mr Guthrie said that he had requested two separate closure days, both which have been denied by the Education Department.
Principal Guthrie made the request after being made aware of a child with suspected coronavirus who, despite showing no symptoms at school, became unwell over the weekend.
Mr Guthrie stressed that due to UK restrictions on testing, the case has not been confirmed and is therefore only a suspected case.
The principal reassured parents that cleaning staff had been carrying out "a more thorough clean within school" for several weeks and would continue to do so in order to protect students and staff, but also said that he had attempted to get the school closed temporarily, stating:
"I had also made application to the Department of Education for TWO exceptional closure days on Thursday 19 and Friday 20 March. However, I have been unsuccessful and these have been denied, a similar story to many other primary schools in our city who had applied for the same. This means that school will be open for pupils from Thursday 19 March until further notification on closure."
Mr Guthrie went on to acknowledge that parents would be feeling fear and worry during these uncertain times, and said: "I totally understand and respect your decision to protect your children and families."
"You should therefore do what you feel is right for your own individual circumstances."
The Republic of Ireland has ordered the closure of all schools, childcare facilities and third-level institutions, however Northern Ireland, which follows the laws of the UK, has been told to keep schools open until told otherwise.