The head teacher of St George’s school in Broadstairs says covid has resulted in staffing levels reaching ‘tipping point.’#
Adam Mirams has written an end of term letter to parents and expressed concerns at more disruption with work from home advice being implemented from Monday due to a rise in Omicron variant cases across the country.
He says staffing shortages have been an issue for more than a month with the last couple of days being particularly difficult at the primary school site.
He has alerted parents to the possibility of class or year groups being closed and reverting to home learning if the situation worsens before the end of term.
‘Significant staffing issues’
He said: “Unfortunately we are continuing to see significant staffing issues across the school on a daily basis and like many other institutions across the county these are related to Covid, other seasonal illnesses and the impact of childcare issues given the rising number of Covid cases.
“New guidance with the Omicron variant, positive Covid tests, normal winter illnesses and childcare issues do mean that there will be further disruption from Monday. This is impacting on most year groups and it has become critical in Year 2 where a member of staff has tested positive and due to new regulations will no longer be teaching from Monday.
“I am therefore alerting parents at both schools that I have been in discussions with the Local Authority over the last two days and if there is a further issue with staffing I may have to take the decision to shut some classes or year groups and move to remote learning prior to the end of term. “We find ourselves in a most unenviable position once again and daily we are making decisions in school from very early in the morning to ensure that we can meet all Health and Safety requirements. Please be aware that such decisions are not taken lightly and that you will be informed as early as possible if this is the case.”
In the letter Mr Mirams says over the last couple of days there has been an increasing number of pupils and staff going for PCR tests either due to symptoms or as directed by NHS Track and Trace.
However, efforts are being made to keep up the Christmas spirit with the schools naughty elves being spotted around the building and all five nativities being performed Primary parents.
Mr Mirams added: “We are working towards Celebration Worships across both schools on the last day but there will be no Whole School Celebration at Secondary for obvious reasons (Extremely disappointed once again).”
On returning to school in January, secondary pupils will need to attend for a covid test before coming back for classes, although Mr Mirams said: “It is almost impossible to predict where we will be in January at this point and I believe anything is possible with very short notice on guidance.”
He added: “The aim across both schools is to get to the end of term in the best way we can and to enjoy the build up to Christmas. I hope and pray that all in our community get an opportunity to get together with family and enjoy the festive break despite the uncertainties currently.”
The issues are not isolated to St George’s with other primary and secondary schools, including Sandwich Tech and Drapers Mills, also working through shortages.
Kent County Council has also scaled back its full council meeting and postponed its Invicta Award and Honorary Alderman awards until the New Year.
Interim Director of Public Health for Kent Dr Allison Duggal said: “We continue to keep a careful eye on the implications of COVID-19 and the new omicron variant for the county and have seen a rapid rise in cases in recent weeks.
“Given it is not possible to socially distance adequately at larger council meetings, and it is impractical to ventilate buildings to the required degree, I have advised we need to revert to alternative ways of holding these meetings at least until we see infection rates fall and we have better understanding of omicron.”
Just in time for an extended Christmas break. Who could have predicated that!!
School staff have no protection whatsoever against Covid with the most spread amongst under 18s. The sensible thing to do would be to close the schools now for a proper break. Why should those working in schools have to put up with conditions that nobody else has to?
Bus drivers? Shop workers? Nurses? I could go on listing work places that are equal, if not worse, than schools. Why should school staff be treated differently???
Bus drivers and shop workers are, for the most part, behind screens. Hospital workers benefit from medical standard PPE. Teachers, particularly in primary schools, are face-to-face in a crowded environment with a room full of super spreaders and no PPE.
Err, double vaccinated and a booster? Against a virus that without testing the majority of them would have put down to be the annual sniffle. The nation has somehow decided life has to have zero risk, but only for things that suit them, you’ve only to look at the number of people on their phones whilst driving or the standard of driving/parking near schools to see that personal convenience soon alsters their view of risk. Public sector workers are just looking for another 10 days off on pay.
It is truly pathetic LC. Omicron has as far as we know not taken one life as of yet & the side effects for 90% odd-with the other 10% no doubt again being overwhelmingly the elderly, obese & compromised are mostly no more than a cold/seasonal bug & yet this government have decided the country needs to be shut down again & if Plan B does make it through in a couple of days then you can bet the ultra restrictive Plan C will not be far behind.
Wasn’t the Carrot & stick that if you got the jabs & now the booster that not only would you protect granny, but that you would be living a life free of draconian restrictions such as lockdown & going to places? If this doers pass then unless you can flash a silly code then forget about going to the pub or club, forget going to an outdoor sporting event, concert, etc. Plan C will no doubt be theatres, all non-essential shops & more lockdowns. Basically our freedoms are being taken away for nothing-at some point you will be unable to step beyond your front gate without Pfizer jabs(Moderna are appretnly useless against Omicron)boosters & the new daily pill if this lot get their way.
Oh no-people have a cough, a blocked nose, a runny nose & perhaps a mild ache in their joints. We used to call it part of life with winter bugs & just get on with it-unless it became a chest infection or pneumonia. Now we have to close the country down & impose more restrictions on life & basic rights.
As far as we know nobody has even died of Omicron yet & hospitalisations from it are few, yet we hear these ridiculous worst case numbers of predicted deaths & hospitalisations(none of which happened the last two odd years) the UK is going to have & more draconian measures trying to be forced through. Let’s get this hypocritical, bumbling buffoo & his cronies out of number 10-most of his own party now detest him & look to be voting against Plan B-currently 67 Tory rebels are planning to do just that-including Craig Mackinlay.