Epsom Primary School's headteacher has defended her decision to close the school after an external staff member contracted Covid-19 coronavirus.

The school had only recently reopened for some age groups after months of lockdown, but closed from Monday (June 15) after discussions with Public Health England (PHE).

On Tuesday evening (June 17), Headteacher Michelle Pollard issued a public statement after the Comet revealed the school closure had been due to a case of coronavirus.

While regretting the decision, Pollard said her priority was to protect the safety of children and minimize the risk of a localised outbreak of the disease.

"As head teacher, I am disappointed for our families that we have had to take these measures at a time when some normality was returning for our children.

"However, I have a duty to mitigate any known risk, however low, to our children or our staff," she said.

"We would all rather be in school this week, but after seeking advice from Public Health England, it was recommended that children self-isolate as a precaution.

"Although the positive COVID-19 test was not a member of school staff, we have to put our children’s safety first and minimise the possibility of a local outbreak in our community," the headteacher added.

As the Comet reported previously, parents were informed of the closure on Friday in a letter from the school confirming that there had been "a confirmed case of COVID-19 within the school in our external catering team."

Epsom Primary School said they had followed PHE advice and are now advising "all children and staff who have school dinners" to "now self-isolate for 14 days as a precaution..."