Mon, 14 Dec 2020
All Kennet School pupils are to work from home until the end of term, it was announced tonight.
The decision has immediate effect, and follows an increase of isolated coronavirus cases.
Eleven members of the school community have tested positive since Friday - one Year 7 pupil, five Year 9 pupils, four Year 10 pupils and a member of staff.
All lessons will be taught online from tomorrow (Tuesday), as around 30 per cent of classes are now being covered by substitute teachers, which the school said would impact the quality of education.
Headteacher Gemma Piper announced the new policy in a letter to parents today (Monday).
Year 9 and 10 pupils were moved to remote learning last Friday, following eight isolated cases.
Mrs Piper said: "We have been through the full track and trace process and worked closely with Public Health England and the Department for Education to identify all close contacts, all of whom have now been informed.
"In addition to these cases, a large number of staff are unable to attend school due to direct contact with positives cases, both inside and outside school.
"The result of this is that around 30% of our classes on site are now being covered by substitute staff - often not experts in the subject being taught - and this of course has a detrimental impact on the quality of teaching that we can offer.
"Our priorities are to enable the best learning for all our pupils (whether in self-isolation or not), the physical and mental welfare of our pupils and staff, and to minimise disruption to you at home.
"We have considered all the options available and have decided to move all lessons online via our remote learning strategy for all year groups from tomorrow.
"This is the very best way of providing access to high quality learning for pupils across the school with their usual teachers, and will maximise the ability of staff self-isolating to work to support all their classes."
Kennet will run provision in school for pupils who are children of key workers, those identified as vulnerable, and those who do not have adequate technology at home to access the learning material.
The school had been due to break up on Friday.
Mrs Piper's full letter - including advice on tracing, isolation and academic arrangements - can be found on Kennet School's website.