January 27, 2022 6.00 pm

COVID-stricken Lincolnshire primary teacher won’t give up as schools face staffing woes

Schools across the county are facing challenges

A year six teacher with coronavirus has been teaching her class virtually from home as a Lincolnshire primary school continues to battle against staff shortages.

The Richmond School in Skegness had 20 staff off last week, meaning some children had to be sent home. At one point there was just one adult for 60 children, which the school decided “wasn’t safe”, so the reception class was closed last week, as well as on Monday, January 24.

This week there are 14 staff off sick and the school is working hard to manage the situation.

But year six teacher Emma Green was determined to carry on and is teaching her class virtually from home while recovering from coronavirus.

She told BBC Look North: “I have been told on numerous occasions I don’t need to, however I don’t feel that poorly so I feel like I still need to give and I still want to be part of the class.

“We’ve been quite short across the school, particularly lower down in the school, so anything that I can do to help if that means my teaching assistants can be deployed somewhere else and I can teach my class then that’s fine.”

Headteacher Caroline Wellsted said: “It meant we had to close our reception class for the whole of last week and Monday of this week because I only had one adult in school for 60 children and it just wasn’t safe.

“There have been other odd days when I’ve had to close just one class in some year groups because staffing levels have dipped to an unsafe level.”

When asked how school staff in the county have been affected since they returned from the Christmas break Martin Smith, assistant director for education at Lincolnshire County Council, told The Lincolnite: “This continues to be a challenging time for schools, who are regularly having to deal with staff absences. Every school is different and the situation changes on a daily basis.

“However, at this time, schools are managing to adapt and remain open. I want to thank school leaders and their teams for their resilience and commitment at this time.”