STUDENTS at a school in Taunton will be remote learning from today (October 18) until the half term.

This is due to a rise in positive Covid-19 cases and non-Covid-related sickness.

Year nine pupils at The Taunton Academy are being asked to work at home this week, as this year group has the highest number of positive tests.

There has also been a few positive tests among staff, as well as other sickness, which has led to absence.

John Eddy, headteacher at the school, said he is 'concerned' about the school's ability to run classes 'safely' for students in all year groups.

And so he has taken the decision to ask year nine pupils to learn remotely for the rest of the week.

"Overall our case rates do remain low but the combination of staff and student illness is causing the problem," he said.

"By asking year nine to work remotely, I hope that we can stop any further students in that year group testing positive and not impacting on family plans at half term.

"At this time, all other years should continue to attend school as normal but we will continue to monitor the situation daily.

"Taking and reporting the lateral flow tests is vital to allow us to respond appropriately.

"I am very aware that this is not an ideal situation to be in and we have done all we can to avoid this.

"Many schools in Somerset are being forced to make similar decisions and have had to do so far earlier than we have.

"I am grateful for your support and understanding at this difficult time."

Work for the year nine students will be set on class charts, but staff are not able to run live lessons due to illness.

There will be a TEAMS session for year nine students at 8.50am each day, so tutors can check in on students.