December 16, 2020 4.57 pm This story is over 41 months old

Welton school with 40 staff absent closes three year groups

Years 7, 8 and 9 were sent home

Forty members of staff are currently absent from William Farr C of E Comprehensive School in Welton, with three year groups of students also sent home for remote learning after an increase in coronavirus cases.

Years 7, 8 and 9 were sent home on Tuesday, December 15, as it became impossible for headteacher Jonathan Knowler to cover all lessons at the school.

However, the school remains open for Year 10 and 13 students for the last two days of term.

Mr Knowler said: “The decision to revert to remote learning for Year 7, 8 and 9 students has not been taken lightly, but in these circumstances, it is the right decision to minimise any further risk of transmission in school within these year groups.

“The school has tried very hard to deploy staff flexibility and to recruit additional staff to cover lessons.

“However, with the significant number of staff absent due to COVID-19 issues, I am unable to cover all lessons in school.

“I would like to emphasise that this is not a position that we would want to find ourselves in. We have tried incredibly hard to keep the school open to all year groups for as long as possible. Sadly, the nature of COVID19 has forced us to take this decision.”

Meanwhile, fifteen 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 Wednesday, December 16, Lincolnshire County Council said the current rate of infection in school age children in Lincolnshire is 177 cases per 100,000 over seven days.

It added that this is much lower than the rate of 231 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 9 to 15) are as follows:

  • 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
  • Osbournby Primary School, Sleaford
  • The Claypole Church of England Primary School
  • Coningsby St Michael’s Church of England Primary School
  • Boston West Academy
  • Westgate Academy, Lincoln
  • Westmere Community Primary School, Spalding