Hartlepool academy reveals home schooling contingency plans amid 'unprecedented' Covid cases among staff

A Hartlepool academy has written to parents to share contingency plans if they have to go back to remote learning due to an “unprecedented” number of Covid cases among staff.

Tuesday, 11th January 2022, 4:53 pm

Manor Community Academy says the virus continues to present significant challenges with growing numbers of staff self-isolating linked to the nationwide spread of the highly infectious Omicron variant.

It is currently still open and in a letter to parents principal Lee Kirtley says the school is doing all it can to reduce disruption to students and maintain face to face education.

But the academy has shared contingency plans in the unwanted event that it has to return to remote online learning for some year groups.

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Manor Community Academy principal Lee Kirtley.

Mr Kirtley said in the letter: “Staffing shortages due to self-isolation are an increasing issue, with the academy currently experiencing an unprecedented number of staff cases, mirroring the increasing number of cases nationally.

“Whilst not currently the case, this may inevitably have an impact on our ability to maintain face to face education in all year groups in the future, and we will continue to monitor this situation closely.”

He went on to outline “robust” remote learning systems in place should they be needed.

They include plans for 25 one-hour live remote lessons a week using Google Classroom and Mr Kirtley said students would receive bespoke timetables.

Manor Community Academy.

He added: “The health and wellbeing of our students remains our priority but we are focused and committed to providing the best possible educational offer during these challenging times.

"We will notify you if the situation changes, but in the meantime we will continue to work hard to provide face-to-face education for all students.”

Latest data from the Department for Education shows some 4.9% of teachers and school leaders nationally were off school due to Covid-related reasons on January 6, up from 3% at the end of last term.

Around 315,000 children were also absent for reasons connected to coronavirus on January 6 – a record high for this school year.

Secondary school pupils in England have been told by the Government to wear face coverings in class following their return after the Christmas holidays amid concern over the number of Covid cases.

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