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Oasis Academy Isle of Sheppey tells Year 7 pupils to stay home


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One of Kent's biggest secondary schools has told its Year 7 pupils to stay at home because of staff shortages.

The Oasis Academy on the Isle of Sheppey warned parents on Monday it was closing classes at its campus in Marine Parade, Sheerness, the following day, sending panic across the Island. Dec 6

Oasis Academy Isle of Sheppey's Sheerness site in Marine Parade
Oasis Academy Isle of Sheppey's Sheerness site in Marine Parade

Grandmother Sarah Spoor, 47, said: "I feel for the parents who have to work. They weren't given a lot of notice to come up with any alternative arrangements. It's bad enough finding child care for holidays but to have this sprung on parents at such short notice is horrible. They can't leave 11-year-olds alone at home.

"We realised something might be wrong on Monday when my grandson said he had only done PE, French lessons and sat in the corridor."

Another commented on social media: "Shocking really. It’s OK for them to close to students but God forbid if your child has a few days off ill."

Parents who take children out of school on holiday risk a fine of £200.

But another explained: "It is happening at most secondary schools in Medway. Supply teachers are making the choice not to come in so they do not catch Covid.

Andy Booth, executive principal of Oasis Academy Isle of Sheppey
Andy Booth, executive principal of Oasis Academy Isle of Sheppey

"Every day, we are faced with absent and returning children, children being sent home for tests and teachers getting ill. Schools are really trying to do what they can under awful circumstances. Schools are insured for supply teachers, it's not about money."

In an email to parents Andy Booth, the school's executive principal, said: "Unfortunately, due to staffing absence we are having to close the Sheerness site to Year 7s as of tomorrow.

"The temporary closure will be until Friday (Dec 10). All being well, all Year 7 students will return on Monday (Dec 13)."

The only exception is children attending the Brabazon unit.

Pupils have been given links to online lessons for maths, science and English.

Facebook announcmment by Oasis Academy Isle of Sheppey to parents about closure of Year 7 lessons
Facebook announcmment by Oasis Academy Isle of Sheppey to parents about closure of Year 7 lessons

Mr Booth added: "This is not a Covid closure so we will not be providing key-worker or vulnerable provision. Please do not send your son or daughter to the academy. Additionally, lunch will not be provided for free school meals students during the period of closure."

A school spokesman said: "In response to a small rise in staff absence within our academy community, which we can confirm is not Covid-19 related, we have taken the difficult decision to close to students in years 7 for the remainder of this week.

"Online learning has been provided to this year group. Students in all other years including 12 and 13 should attend as normal and will be in all time-tabled lessons.

"This decision prioritised the safety and well-being of our students and staff. We will keep parents regularly updated during this period and look forward to being fully open again shortly."

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