#childsafety | GCSE pupils to stay at home for extra week after Covid-linked staffing shortages at school

GCSE pupils are to spend an extra week learning at home after a coronavirus outbreak at their school.

All Year 11 students from The Discovery Academy, in Bentilee, were told to self-isolate in the wake of eight members of the year group catching Covid-19.

At least 10 staff have also tested positive in recent weeks. While some other teachers have been staying at home after developing symptoms or coming into close contact with someone who has the virus.

Year 11 pupils were due to have a phased return to school next week.

But now principal Rob Kelsall has written to parents to let them know the year group should stay off until Monday, October 5.

He said: “During this time, Year 11 students will continue with their distance learning on MS Teams.”

The teenagers will also have ‘live’ online lessons twice a day.

Mr Kelsall said the decision was taken due to ‘a continued reduction in staffing availability’ and to ‘create uniformity for the whole year group’s education’.

In his letter, he added: “The rate of infection is changing nationally and I wish to reassure you that, if we have constraints on our teaching levels in future, I will ensure that another year group is educated from home unless it is for self-isolation.

“Years 7 to 10 are asked to continue their education within the academy as normal, where we have seen daily increases in attendance and no current positive Covid-19 cases.

“We continue to work with Public Health England and the local authority, ensuring public health measures are in place.”

The Discovery Academy has also urged families to heed safety advice in the community.

Mr Kelsall said: “Public Health England have asked us to remind parents and carers, students and staff that the greatest likelihood of exposure is outside schools and care must be taken at all times, especially as the rate of infection is rising dramatically.

“This also means that if your child, you or a member of your household is asked to self-isolate that you do so. It is important that as a community we work together to keep everyone safe.”




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