FIVE more primaries across Kettering, Rothwell, Desborough and Corby defy government orders and SHUT their doors tomorrow

The schools say they cannot safely open their doors

Monday, 4th January 2021, 7:36 am
Head of St Andrews Primary Ben Ansell said he supported his staffs decision to defy Education Secretary Gavin Williamsons (inset) orders to keep schools open.
Head of St Andrews Primary Ben Ansell said he supported his staffs decision to defy Education Secretary Gavin Williamsons (inset) orders to keep schools open.

More schools across North Northants have said they cannot fully open tomorrow (Monday, January 4) as planned following the Christmas break.

Rapidly rising coronavirus case numbers and pressure from unions over safety concerns prompted an announcement earlier this evening from Corby’s Woodnewton: A Learning Community that they would not reopen as planned.

Now five other schools say they will also not be reopening after the Christmas break and will switch to remote learning for all but vulnerable and keyworker’s children.

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Rothwell Juniors in Gladstone Road will also not be fully open tomorrow

Loatlands Primary School in Desborough will stay shut, as will Rushton Primary. Priors Hall: A Learning Community will shut. Rothwell’s Infant and Junior Schools and St Andrew’s CE Primary School in Kettering, which is due to reopen on Tuesday, will be open to only some year groups.

UPDATE: Rowan Gate in Wellingborough will switch to remote learning and Wilbarston CE School will only partially reopen.

A letter from Rothwell Schools headteacher Ashley Izzard-Snape to parents said: “You may be aware of increasing opposition to the Department of Education’s plan for the start of term for primary schools since the identification of the new strain of the Covid variant and the resulting rise in infections.

”In certain parts of the country primary schools have moved to remote learning for all but vulnerable children and those of key workers.

”School unions, acting on behalf of school staff, have now united in calling on the government to move all schools and colleges in England to remote education for at least the first two weeks of term..”

The letter that said staff were concerned and had exercised their right to safety in their workplace, adding: “As a result of this Rothwell Schools will only be able to offer face to face teaching for selected year groups.”

The letter said that only pupils in nursery, reception and year four should stay at home.

In a letter to parents of youngsters at St Andrew’s CE School in Grafton Street, Kettering, headteacher Ben Arnell said school may reopen on Tuesday for some pupils, but not all, and that keyworker provision would not immediately be in place.

He said: “Many of our staff have decided they agree with these unions and will not be returning to school for two weeks, a decision the school supports.”