A school has been forced to shut after a major outbreak of coronavirus among staff.

Samuel Ward Academy in Haverhil, Suffolk, is undergoing a deep clean after five teachers caught the potentially deadly bug, with two more awaiting results.

Headteacher Andy Hunter called it a “huge disappointment” after students only returned last week.

The gates at Old Buckenham High School in Norfolk also remained shut today after a member of staff tested positive for Covid-19.

Mr Hunter is hoping to reopen his school tomorrow despite the outbreak.

Two more year groups were due to start back in the classroom today.

Anyone who had contact with the infected teachers now has to self-isolate for 14 days.

Mr Hunter said: “The safety of pupils and all those who work at the school is my biggest priority.

"Obviously this is a huge disappointment after working so hard to get the school back up and running.

"I will be looking closely at the systems we put in place to try to understand how the transmission occurred and to make sure we do everything possible to limit the chances of the same thing happening again.

"I am very disappointed by this disrupted start to the school term.

"We have taken very extensive precautions.

"We were delighted that term had started so well last week and were looking forward to the final two year groups starting."

"But I have had excellent support from Public Health England, Public Health Suffolk and Suffolk County Council.

"We are determined to do all we can to stop the further spread of the virus and agree with the precautionary action to close the school."

Public Health England, Public Health Suffolk and Suffolk County Council are working with the school to find out how the outbreak happened.

A deep clean is to take place at the school.

Further contact tracing will continue and additional pupils and staff may be asked to self-isolate.

Stuart Keeble, director of public health at Suffolk County Council, said: "Understandably, this news may worry parents across Suffolk, but it is important to remember that the risk of children contracting Covid-19 is still very small.

"Evidence suggests that children are more likely to contract Covid-19 at home."

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