Since school reopened after the Christmas holidays, we have now had over a hundred confirmed cases of Covid within school. This is made up of both students and staff. Unfortunately, as the cases in one area of school subside we appear to be presented with another outbreak in a different area. On top of this, as an employer, if a member of staff is not vaccinated and they are deemed to be a close contact then they too must isolate for ten days.
This situation has presented huge logistical challenges; and we are operating with much lower staff numbers. This includes utilising vast swathes of supply staff in order to keep as many classes open as possible.
As a specialist school, we require sufficient staff numbers and staff who know the students, in order to ensure that all the students are safe within school. It is for these reasons that we have had to have some enforced class closures since we returned from the Christmas break.
As a Head Teacher, I would again like to reiterate that I would like every single child, who is well enough, to be in school as per their right and entitlement. However, I hope you can understand why we have been unable to fulfil this in its entirety.
I am completely aware of the impact of closing classes on our students and families, which is why we have tried to share the burden of class closures across the school. In doing this, it has meant that each child has missed a maximum of one week as a result of an enforced closure. I am aware though that some students have had an enforced closure and been off with Covid so have been hit twice, for this I am extremely sorry.
I keep reiterating that this is hopefully the final steps in what has been a very long and arduous Covid journey. I have my fingers and toes crossed that once we return after half term we will have sufficiently low numbers of Covid that school should be able to function as normal and class closures will hopefully be a thing of the past. In the meantime, may I take this opportunity to thank you for your continued patience and understanding.
Kirkleatham Hall School