Home   Canterbury   News   Article

Simon Langton Grammar School for Boys, in Canterbury, sends five year groups home due to Covid-19 staffing crisis

Five year groups have been sent home for a fortnight due to a staffing crisis which has left a school in an "intolerable" position.

Simon Langton Grammar School for Boys, in Canterbury, has 22 staff members in isolation and head teacher Ken Moffat says he is having to "ask people who have never taught a lesson in their lives to cover classes".

Alan Brookes from the Kent Association of Headteachers talking about staff shortages

As a result of the depleted workforce, he has been forced to shut the majority of the school down.

Year 7 and 8 pupils will still be attending but the rest will stay at home.

In a letter sent to parents, Mr Moffat says: "As of today I have 22 members of the teaching staff in isolation, no pastoral lead, two year heads out and no designated safeguarding lead or senior first aider.

"All of Year 11 and over half of Year 9 are at home, as well as many Sixth Formers.

"This is not a sustainable position and the pressure on remaining staff is becoming intolerable.

'This is not a decision we have taken lightly, but this is now crisis time...'

"I am asking people who have never taught a lesson in their lives to cover classes.

"For now, the situation can only get worse and it is difficult to see how it won’t. I also have to consider the physical health of the whole community.

"This is not a decision we have taken lightly, but this is now crisis time.

"I understand that some of you will not agree with the stance I have taken, but now is not the time for dialogue and I will not have time to reply to individual emails."

Despite the staff crisis and the proximity to Christmas, the school term will not be brought to a close early.

Ken Moffat, the school's head
Ken Moffat, the school's head

It is hoped more year groups can return on Monday, December 14, when the majority of staff will have completed the quarantine period.

Mr Moffat's letter states "the DfE (Department for Education) has made it very clear that term can end no sooner than December 18 and early closure is not an option".

"While some form of partial closure is inevitable, I am very conscious of the pressure on parents of Year 7 and 8 students in organising child care," he said.

"Following conversations with county officers and the chair of governors late last night and early this morning, we have taken the decision to close the school to all but Year 7 and 8 students, vulnerable students, the children of key workers and Year 13 students who have online Oxbridge interviews as of tomorrow, for a period of eight school days."

Year 7 and 8 pupils will attend school in sports kits as their afternoons will largely be spent with the PE department.

A virtual curriculum will come into play for those learning from home.

News from our universities, local primary and secondary schools including Ofsted inspections and league tables can be found here.

For the latest coronavirus news and advice, click here.

Read more: All the latest news from Canterbury

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More