Chesterfield school moves to remote learning as Covid causes ‘very high levels’ of staff absence

A Chesterfield school is asking selected year groups to work from home once again due to ‘very high’ levels of staff absence.

Wednesday, 23rd March 2022, 10:27 pm

Springwell Community College in Staveley is currently operating a blended learning model with certain year groups being asked to spend one day working from home this week.

Headteacher Ian Wingfield first announced the changes in a letter to parents and carers on Monday (March 21), noting that the decision had not been “taken lightly”.

He revealed that Year 8 pupils would have to work from home on Tuesday, with subsequent letters instructing Year 9 pupils to work remotely on Wednesday and the latest telling Year 10 pupils they will be out of the classroom on Thursday, March 24.

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Springwell Community College is currently experiencing 'very high' levels of absence among staff and pupils due to Covid

Mr Wingfield said: “We are currently experiencing very high levels of student and staff absence, largely due to an increase in the number of positive Covid-19 cases in college. This is putting increasing pressure on our ability to provide face to face lessons for all year groups.

"Having consulted with Mr Davies, the Chief Executive Officer of the Two Counties Trust, the difficult decision has been made to provide education remotely to a specific group of students.”

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He added: “I can assure you that this decision was not taken lightly and I am hopeful that the situation will improve quickly. As always, we will continue to balance the health and safety of our community with the quality of education.”

Nationally, Covid cases are increasing with the BA.2 sub-variant of Omicron causing most of the infections.

It is believed that Springwell Community College is one of two schools in Derbyshire affected by high levels of staff absence.

Dean Wallace, director of public health for Derbyshire, said: "We continue to offer support to schools where it is needed to help them manage transmission of Covid-19.

"We’re aware that two schools in Derbyshire experiencing high levels of staff absences due to the virus recently took the decision to temporarily close year groups or switch to online learning.

"If a school does need to restrict attendance and temporarily use online learning for some young people, we know that they will only do this as a last resort and for a short period of time, as they have done before, to prioritise keeping young people in face to face learning.”

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