Whole year group learning from home as staff absences bite at Northampton secondary school

Malcolm Arnold Academy say they expect all students back in the classroom on Monday

Thursday, 30th September 2021, 6:55 pm
Updated Thursday, 30th September 2021, 6:56 pm
Malcolm Arnold Academy.

Up to 300 students at a Northampton school are learning at home for two days due to staff absences.

Malcolm Arnold Academy told parents today the 13 and 14-year-olds in year nine would be back at school as usual on Monday (October 4) and not all the absences are related to Covid-19.

A spokesman for the school said: “Our year nines are currently learning remotely due to staff absence.

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"Whilst there are currently high rates of Covid in the community, this has not translated into in-school transmission rates that qualify as an outbreak.

"We are also affected by non-Covid absence but we are confident that this will improve very soon, and we expect to be welcoming year nines back into school on Monday.

"We have liaised closely with the local authority and PHE and they are supportive of the measures we have taken in school.

"The online learning we provide is of a high quality and we look forward to seeing our full community back on Monday.”

Infection rates have risen in schools all across Northamptonshire during the last month. Government data shows 2,444 positive tests per 100,000 among 10-14-year-olds in Northampton during the week to September 24.

But Public Health England has also warned that schools returning and the arrival of autumn has meant common colds and other respiratory infections are also firmly on the rise, spreading coughs and sneezes, more severe illnesses, and prompting some to report their worst colds ever.

After 18 months of social distancing and mask wearing, many people are thought to have weaker immune defences and many may fall ill with viruses they would normally have fended off with little trouble.

Dr Yvonne Doyle, medical director at Public Health England, said: “As we head into winter, there are steps we can all take to keep ourselves healthy and reduce the burden on the NHS. Hand washing, ventilation and mask wearing aren’t only important for Covid-19, they keep other bugs at bay too. Try to stay at home if you are unwell."