Drapers’ Academy closed early due to positive Covid case in catering team

Drapers' Academy sign

Drapers' Academy in Harold Hill closed at 1pm on Monday, July 12 due to a Covid case. - Credit: Drapers' Academy

A school in Harold Hill had to close early after a member of its catering staff tested positive for Covid-19.  

Drapers’ Academy principal Darren Luckhurst told parents and carers on Monday (July 12) that a member of the team tested positive for Covid over the weekend, resulting in all catering staff being sent home to isolate and take a test.  

As no lunch or food could be provided, students from Year 7 to the Sixth Form were sent home from 1pm on that day.

In the letter, Mr Luckhurst apologised for the inconvenience and said: “I know you will understand that we cannot expect pupils to remain in school until 3pm without any food at break or lunch.”  

However, a catering company provided food for children who were eligible for free school meals, along with pupils who had not eaten breakfast or were unable to purchase a snack in the morning break.  

Mr Luckhurst also advised parents that they should provide their children with packed lunch or ask them to buy a suitable meal on the way to school while the different catering company is in place. 

He said: “Olive Dining only have the resources to cater for the 300 or so pupils eligible for free school meals.  

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“Unfortunately, this means we can only run a limited catering service in school and are not able to offer meals and snacks for all pupils."

A spokesperson for Drapers’ Academy has confirmed that the early closure was due to a positive case of Covid-19 and has also said that a new catering team has been put in place so that the school can resume as normal.  

The spokesperson said: “School continued as normal for pupils until lunchtime, when they were dismissed for the day.

"Food was available for those entitled to free school meals, as well as any pupils who were hungry. 

“Pupils were dismissed as late in the day as possible, to reduce any disruption to their learning.  

“In total, pupils only missed one lesson yesterday, and school resumed as normal today with a new catering team in place to meet the needs of pupils."