The Wokingham Paper

++UPDATED++ Coronavirus – School operates partial closure; others have contingency plans


TWO SECONDARY schools and a primary school in Wokingham borough are launching partial closures as a result of staff self-isolating during the coronavirus crisis.

And letters are being sent to parents at a number of schools outlining contingency plans should they also be forced to close, either completely or partially.

But any pupils looking forward to extra days off will be disappointed: teachers are setting homework using an online system.

The Holt School in Wokingham starts its partial closures from tomorrow (Tuesday, March 17). A different year group will work from home each day until Friday, March 20.

Years 7 have normal lessons, and schools are trying to protect lessons in years 11 and 13 to help them prepare for GCSEs and A-level exams as much as possible.

A letter to parents from co-headteachers Anne Kennedy and Katie Pearce adds: “Thank you for your continued support, of which we are appreciative in these unusual circumstances”.

St Crispin’s School is now activating its plan for partial closures by closing today for Year 12 students.

A short letter from the school’s headteacher, Giny Rhodes, also confirmed cancellation of a concert and a parents evening.

“We have unprecedented staff absence this morning,” the letter says. “Therefore and with considerable regret St Crispin’s is closed to Year 12 on Tuesday 17th March. 

“Given the advice on social distancing the Spring Concert and Year 8 parents evening will not take place this week.”

Radstock Primary School has closed the school to Year 5s this week, and the nursery is closed indefinitely.

A note on its website states: “Year 5 is now shut (as at 17.03.20 at 7.20am) until the end of Friday 20th March due to current government guidance around the Coronavirus and the implications on staffing.

“Nursery/F1 is now shut (as at 16.03.20) for the foreseeable future due to current government guidance and the implications on staffing.”

In Woodley, The Bulmershe School is currently staying fully open. A letter sent to parents from head teacher Amanda Woodfin says that all school events, fixtures and trips are cancelled until April 20, and that the school had a number of staff members self-isolating as a precautionary measure.

“This level of absence is significant in addition to normal absence therefore I may to take the decision to run a partial school closure timetable,” Ms Woodfin noted.

The Emmbrook School has not yet announced any closures, but in a letter sent to parents last Thursday, Nick McSweeney said: “If the school were required to close we have plans to allow students to continue to learn at home”.

The Piggott School in Wargrave has the same policy as The Emmbrook and no closures have been announced yet.

The Forest School has cancelled football and rugby fixtures, but school practises are continuing as normal at this time. It also has advised parents that should closures become necessary, it will set work for pupils to carry out at home.

Waingels College has updated parents with a contingency plan.

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Maiden Erlegh and Bulmershe are also operating partial closures for the rest of the week

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