December 15, 2020 5.10 pm This story is over 41 months old

Staff absences force Lincoln school to send whole year group home

Year 9 students will not return until January

A whole year group at a school in Lincoln must now stay at home for the rest of the week and not return until January “due to continuing staff absence” who are self isolating.

Richard Trow, Headteacher at The Priory City of Lincoln Academy, sent a letter and email to parents and carers of Year 9 students on Monday, December 14.

The 168 students in Year 9 will be able to return to the academy on Tuesday, January 5, 2021. All the other year groups are attending the academy as normal.

Mr Trow said that should a similar staffing situation arise in the New Year, the school will look to implement a remote learning offer with alternative year groups in the first instance.

A spokesperson for The Priory Federation of Academies Trust said: “The academy has lost a number of teaching and support staff due to the isolation requirements which follow ‘test and trace’.

“As a result, the head took the difficult decision to ask Year 9 to remain at home and continue with online learning until the new term starts in January.

“The academy remains indebted to staff, students and parents for the efforts they are all making to keep themselves and others safe. We know they will continue to do their utmost for the last four days of term.”

Ten Lincolnshire schools have made contact with the county council over the past seven days because of a pupil or staff member testing positive for COVID-19.

On Tuesday, December 15, the county council said the current rate of infection in school age children in Lincolnshire is 186 cases per 100,000 over seven days.

This is much lower than the rate of 255 cases per 100,000 for all ages.

Andy Fox, consultant in public health, said: “All schools are taking action to limit the potential spread of the virus, with some pupils and staff self-isolating as a precaution where necessary.

“The majority of schools remain fully open, and those affected are working really well to limit both the risk of the virus spreading and the impact on the pupils’ education.”

The county council said the Lincolnshire schools with cases who made initial contact over the last seven days (December 8 to 14) are as follows:

  • Coleby Primary School
  • Donington Cowley Endowed Primary School, Spalding
  • Thurlby Community Primary Academy
  • Spalding Grammar School
  • Old Leake Primary and Nursery School
  • Sturton by Stow Primary School
  • Wyberton Primary Academy
  • South Hykeham Community Primary School
  • Nettleham Church of England Junior School, Lincoln
  • Little Gonerby Infant School, Grantham

Meanwhile, Sir Robert Pattinson Academy in North Hykeham was forced to close until next year after the school said a parent failed to isolate their children despite a positive COVID-19 test within the home.