More than two dozen staff and students at a Putney school have been sent home and put into coronavirus isolation.

An email addressed to parents and guardians of students at Ashcroft Technology Academy - which has been seen by the Wandsworth Times - was sent out on February 25.

It read: "In the updated advice for all travellers, the Foreign Office asks that anyone who has recently returned from the north of Italy must self-quarantine for a period of 14 days.

"Therefore, and as a precautionary measure, I have taken the decision to send home the three members of staff who led the recent ski trip to Italy and the 22 students who took part in the trip.

"I asked all Academy staff to see me if they had visited the north of Italy during the half term.

"One member of staff had and they have also been sent home to self-quarantine for 14 days."

The letter, which was written by principal Douglas Mitchell, also addressed concerns relating to upcoming exams.

He said because of the "inconvenience" of self-isolation, this was not a course of action he "would ordinarily" choose to take.

"However, given the guidance from the Foreign Office, and in order to maintain the safety and well-being of every student and staff member in the Academy, this is the correct decision to take," he added.

"As a final precaution, all common areas of the Academy and rooms where the staff and students from the ski trip have been will be deep cleaned so that any concern over catching germs from tables or chairs can be alleviated."

As a result of this action, he issued the following information:

  • Students who are timetabled to be taught by Mr Henderson (History), Miss Calvert (Geography), Miss Faulkner-Lee (Geography) and Miss Iqbal (Business Studies) will have a cover teacher in place of their normal teacher. All four members of staff will upload the lessons they would normally teach, along with support materials to ShowMyHomework. We will also try to upload videos, where possible, so that students miss a minimal amount of teaching and support. Students in Years 12 and 13 will be able to email work for marking and we will look to make arrangements for Year 11 students.
  • If your son or daughter feels ill with any of the following symptoms - fever, coughing, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties - please do not send your child to the Academy. Instead, please contact 111 and take advice from the experts at the end of the line. I would ask that you inform the Academy immediately of this, please.
  • The information provided by the Foreign Office is updating fairly regularly so the advice I received today could change to allow staff members and students to return sooner than the 14 day limit currently recommended. As a result of this, I will update you as and when the situation changes.