‘Significant number’ of staff at school self-isolating

A significant number of staff at an Exeter secondary school have been told to self-isolate, meaning many students will have to learn from home until the end of the current term.

In a letter to parents, St Peter’s Church of England Aided School said the members of staff were told to self-isolate from the NHS Track and Trace system.

It means the school is unable to accommodate many pupils, who will now have to revert back to homeschooling from tomorrow (Friday).

Only pupils in Year 7 and Year 11 and students on the school’s key worker and vulnerable students list, in years 8,9, and 10 who were attending on site prior to March 8 will be able to attend school from Friday, March 26.

The letter, from headteacher Phil Randall, reads as follows:

“I apologise for the inconvenience that this information will create for some of you. We have acted as swiftly as possible following guidance from a range of agencies in order to take the following actions.

St Peter's School in Exeter
St Peter’s School in Exeter
(Image: Google)

“Today we have had confirmation of a significant number of staff who have received NHS Track and Trace alerts advising that they must self-isolate until the end of term. Whilst we have concerns regarding the validity of some of this information for a range of reasons, staff are duty bound by law to self-isolate.

“As a result, following discussions at Governor level, with Devon County Council and Exeter Diocese as well as speaking to local schools we are unfortunately unable to accommodate all students in all year groups on site until the end of term. This is due to very complex logistics, safety ratios of students and staff on site, and the availability of ‘cover’ that on site staff would be required to deliver.

“Therefore on Friday 26th March only Year 7 and 11 and those students on our key critical worker and vulnerable student lists , in years 8, 9 and 10, who were attending on site prior to Monday 8th March 2021, will be able to attend school in person.

“Students at home will be set work by their teachers in the following ways:

“Teachers self-isolating at home who are not ill will continue to deliver remote lessons to their classes both in and out of school.

“Teachers in school will set work for Years 8, 9 and 10 via Google Classroom and if at all possible will conduct a Google Meet live lesson. As a result years 8, 9 and 10 will have a mixture of set tasks and live lessons.

“A large proportion of our teachers in school will also need to cover for self-isolating staff and also deliver their own lessons to the students in school. All decisions have been made in conjunction with the aforementioned authorities prioritising both the quality of education and safety of our community.

“Yours faithfully

“Phil Randall

“Headteacher.”

Devon Live