A NUMBER of year groups at a West Somerset School are being forced to study at home due to an outbreak of Covid among staff.

Danesfield CofE Middle School headteacher David McGrath said cover staff enabled lessons to go ahead as normal when the "higher than usual incidence" of Covid struck on Friday, September 22.

But by the following Monday (September 25) there were "insufficient" teachers able to work at the Williton school as more became infected.

That led to Year 7 and 8 students learning remotely through live lessons online and pre-recorded lessons.

Mr McGrath said: "We have managed to field a sufficient number of staff to keep Years 5 and 6 pupils in school, those who have special educational needs or challenging home lives and are more vulnerable.

"We follow the Association of School and College Leaders guidance, which directs staff who contract Covid or test positive to remain away from school for five days.

READ MORE: Positives in Danesfield's 'requires improvement' Ofsted report.

"This means we are now faced with the situation where 60 per cent of staff are off today (Tuesday, October 3) and clearly, we are unable to remain fully operational on site.

"This situation has been made more difficult because the majority of those teachers are subject specialists, and our cover supervisors are also both off due to illness.

“I realise that remote learning can create problems for working parents or parents with other caring responsibilities, but I hope they will bear with us over the short term while things get back to normal.

"The safety of Danesfield children is of the utmost importance to us and we are committed to ensuring that we always maintain the highest levels of care possible.”

One parent said their child had been studying at home for four days last week and they were annoyed to be messaged at 6.49am on Monday (October 2) to be told the school was again closed to Years 7 and 8.

They said: "They are claiming Covid and 'other' illness, along with apparently a lack of agency teachers.

"This would not have happened pre-Covid. They would have managed. I find it totally unacceptable.

"It shows a total lack of regard for our children's education.

"What are we supposed to do as working parents?"