School Tells Students to Work from Home

Year 9 and 10 students at Ballakermeen High School have been asked to work from home next week.

The letter, sent to parents and guardians by head Adrienne Burnett, says the school is struggling with the number of staff of sick.

Mrs Burnett said: ‘We have already explored a range of possible options including collapsing classes, calling in additional cover teachers, requesting teaching staff from DESC’s Education, Advice and Support division, and the use of our own support staff. Despite our best efforts, we still have a significant shortfall.

‘As a result, for next week only, we have had to implement a contingency plan that will involve certain year groups working from home on certain days to manage the situation.’

Year 10 will be asked to stay home Monday and Tuesday, with Year 9 asked not to come to school for the rest of the week.

The letter added: ‘Work will be provided by teachers to those students required to stay at home. We have purposely avoided requiring Year 7 and 8 to stay home as we are conscious that these students, being younger, are more likely to require childcare provision. Additionally, it is important that year groups that will be sitting examinations at the end of the academic year continue to be taught face to face. Year 10 students will see most of their teachers today, so work can be explained in person.’

If the situation improves next week, then the Year 9s may be able to return earlier than planned but Mrs Burnett said she wanted to give parents a ‘worst case scenario’. The school is also ‘strongly encouraging’ all staff, students and visitors to wear masks in school.

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