A 'SMALL number' of students and staff at a specialist school have self-isolated as a 'precaution' after a confirmed case of coronavirus.

Westfield Arts College, based on Littlemoor Road in Weymouth, teaches children between the ages of four and 19-year-old with moderate and complex learning difficulties.

A person within the school has tested positive for COVID-19 and was last at the school on Friday, September 25.

Dorset Council and Public Health England are aware of the case and are both working with the school. Public Health England has advised that a small number of staff and students to self-isolate for 14 days.

Seán Kretz, headteacher of Westfield Arts College, wrote to parents confirming the news yesterday (Wednesday, September 30). 

Mr Kretz told concerned parents that he and the school is responding to this situation 'very carefully' and thanked parents for their understanding and co-operation.

In a letter written to parents, Mr Kretz states: "We have just been advised that there has been a confirmed case of COVID-19 within the school.

"The person who has tested positive was last in school on Friday, September 25. 

"On the advice of Public Health, a small number of staff and students have been asked to self-isolate for 14 days.

"This letter is to inform you of the current situation and provide advice on how to support your child.

"Please be reassured that for most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness. The school will remain open during this period.

"We are working closely with the team at Public Health England South West and Dorset Council to ensure high standards of hygiene and social distancing are maintained and ensuring all the necessary measures are in place."

Sam Crowe, Director of Public Health for Dorset and Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Councils said: "We are aware a confirmed case of COVID-19 at Westfield Arts College Special School in Weymouth.

"The school is working closely with Public Health Dorset, Dorset Council and Public Health England South West to ensure that all necessary measures are being met.

“All close contacts of the confirmed case have been notified and advised to self-isolate for 14-days.

"Contacts of the confirmed case should get tested if they go on to develop symptoms. Even if people test negative, they must still self-isolate for 14 days.”

Parents have been told that if their child develops symptoms of coronavirus to book a COVID-19 online or by calling 119.

Households are advised to self-isolate until they receive the test results giving the all-clear.