Senior pupils at one of Dundee’s largest secondary schools have been told to stay at home as a major Covid-19 outbreak forces a switch to blended learning.
More than 25 members of staff and a “significant number of pupils” at St John’s High School in the city are having to self-isolate because of the recent outbreak.
As a result, pupils in S4-S6 have been told they will be taught via blended learning starting from Friday. They will not be allowed to return to the school until next week at the earliest.
Pupils in years S1-S3 are still expected to attend class in person during this time.
Please see attached letter. pic.twitter.com/wsCyvHN0wL
— St John's RC HS (@StJohnsOfficial) December 10, 2020
Confirming the outbreak, a Dundee City Council spokesman said: “With over 25 staff now self-isolating, it is not possible to deliver the full curriculum across the school.
“That is why S4-S6 pupils at St John’s High are being advised to stay at home for blended learning from Friday December 11 and return on Wednesday December 16.
“Online resources are being made available for course work. S1-3 pupils will still attend school.”
The Dundee City Council spokesman also confirmed that authorities are aware of a “number of cases connected with the school” and were working with the local health board to contain the outbreak.
This includes close contacts of positive cases having to self-isolate and additional hygiene measure being put in place at the school.
He added: “We will be monitoring the situation and if there are any changes we will communicate directly with families.
“The head teacher has sent a letter to the wider school community advising them of the situation.
“We are aware of a number of cases connected with the school and we have been working closely with NHS Tayside.
“A significant number of pupils are also now self-isolating because of contact tracing.
“With the assistance of public health, we are ensuring that the appropriate measures are being taken including cleaning.
“We would advise pupils and staff to follow national guidance and to not attend school if they are displaying any coronavirus symptoms.
“People should also avoid car sharing.”
The news from St John’s in Dundee comes as Scottish Government data revealed 3,279 pupils from Angus, Dundee, Fife and Perth and Kinross missed school on Tuesday alone.
Local absence figures have increased slightly from last week, where 2,774 pupils were off school in a single day.
The data includes any pupil who is recorded as absent for a host of reasons connected to the virus, including self-isolation, those who have been diagnosed and parents choosing to keep their children at home.
Of the four local authority areas, Fife has been the most affected by the virus, as 1,713 pupils missed school on Tuesday.
Postcode areas KY8, which includes Levenmouth Academy, is the most affected in the kingdom with 398 pupils self-isolating, followed by KY11 which had 378 pupils off school.
In Dundee, 701 pupils missed school with postcode areas DD2, DD3 and DD4 recorded 254, 191 and 180 absences respectively.
Grove Academy, in Broughty Ferry, confirmed today (10 December) that three positive cases had been confirmed in pupils who attend the school in S3 and S5.
Angus had 350 pupils off school because of the virus on Tuesday, including 162 absences in postcode area DD11.
A total of 515 pupils missed school in Perth and Kinross. PH1 had 174 and PH2 had 114.