NORTH Berwick High School’s headteacher was forced to issue a letter of correction this week, after parents were advised that a Covid case in school had not been infectious while on the premises.

A letter from NHS Lothian, dated October 14 and emailed to all parents and carers by the school, said of the confirmed case: “Following a risk assessment by NHS Lothian’s Health Protection team, it has been confirmed that the case has not been at school whilst they have been infectious.

“Anyone who has been in direct contact with the confirmed case has been contacted and will be staying at home for 14 days.

“The school remains open and if your child has not been contacted then they should continue to attend school if they remain well.”

But the following day, parents received a letter from headteacher Lauren Rodger which stated: “As an update to yesterday’s general letter, there are two pieces of information that I would like to clarify.

“First, the person who has tested positive may have been infectious while in school: hence, the need for self-isolation of some members of the school community.

“Second, those whom the HP team identified as being close contacts will have to self-isolate until Tuesday, October 20, as this is 14 days since contact; it is not 14 days’ self-isolation from yesterday.”

An East Lothian Council spokesperson said of the discrepancy: “There was an error in selecting the appropriate message to send from the school to parents and carers.

“On realising this, the headteacher issued a clarification as part of a wider message to parents/carers.

“This clarification stated that the confirmed case in school may have been infectious and that any close contacts had been identified, contacted and were staying at home for the required period of self-isolation.

“We continue to work closely with NHS Lothian’s health protection team, following all national guidance.

“It remains the case, as also stated in the letter, that those not contacted should continue to attend school as normal if they remain well.

“Half-term starts today and the school is now closed to pupils until October 27.”

Dr Duncan McCormick, consultant in public health, NHS Lothian, said: “NHS Lothian’s public health team have been working closely with the school, as well as colleagues from both the education and environmental teams at East Lothian Council.

"We understand that an incorrect letter was sent in error to parents/carers, but as soon as this was identified, clarification was quickly provided.

"We can confirm that all close contacts of the positive case have been identified, and those individuals are self-isolating.”