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Some Comberton Village College year groups told to work from home amid staff shortages caused by Covid-19

Some pupils at Comberton Village College have been told they need to work from home for the rest of the week due to “unprecedented levels of staff absence”.

Amid spiralling rates of Covid-19 infection in the community, the school has more than three times the number of pupils off sick than usual.

Peter Law, principal of Ccomberton Village College
Peter Law, principal of Ccomberton Village College

Principal Peter Law told parents in a letter yesterday (Tuesday): “Last week I sent a message to warn that we were facing unprecedented levels of staff absence and difficulties arranging suitable cover for this. These have continued and I am sorry to say that we will need to ask some pupils to work from home over the last three days of this week.

“Whilst the levels of staff absence have remained consistently high, it is becoming much harder to get appropriate cover and we know it will be impossible for the end of this week. To put this into context, in normal times we would expect to see around 55 pupils across years 7-11 absent in any school day. Today we had 170 pupils absent. The picture across the staff follows the same pattern.

“We therefore need to request that over these three days one year group each day remains at home.”

Year 8 pupils will work from home today (Wednesday), while Year 7 will do so on Thursday and Year 9 on Friday - the last day before the Easter holidays. While teachers will not be available to teach remotely, work is being sent for pupils to access.

Any pupils who would be vulnerable or at risk at home can still attend school.

Mr Law told the Cambridge Independent: “Whilst it is particularly challenging to provide high quality education in these circumstances, it remains a joy to work in school with young people eager to learn and embrace the new opportunities that the world presents.

“These have been in rather shorter supply over the last few years, but it is good to see them beginning to return and we look forward to a summer bringing many of the activities we used to enjoy. Having said that, we are all looking forward to the Easter break very much indeed!”

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