More schools close because of lack of key worker pupils

Sewell Park Academy in Norwich is closed with students moved to Sprowston Community Academy instead.

Sewell Park Academy in Norwich is closed with students moved to Sprowston Community Academy instead. Picture: Archant Library - Credit: SIMON FINLAY

No pupils to teach has seen more Norfolk schools close their gates and others merge resources with neighbouring or partner schools.

In total 97 schools across Norfolk were either totally or partially closed on Wednesday, March 25, up from 67 that were similarly affected on Tuesday.

Schools in England officially closed on Friday, but have been told to remain open for vulnerable youngsters and children whose parents are key workers, such as medics, police and delivery drivers.

However many schools, particular in rural villages, have seen no parents take up the offer to send their children into the classroom.

Tivetshall Primary executive headteacher Mark Carlyle and Waffle the school dog. Picture: Victoria P

Tivetshall Primary executive headteacher Mark Carlyle and Waffle the school dog. Picture: Victoria Pertusa - Credit: Archant

Among those that closed on Wednesday were Stibbard All Saints Primary, near Fakenham, and North Elmham Primary, near Dereham, that both said they were “closed until further notice” due to no demand for places, staff shortages and to enable deep cleans to take place.

MORE: School closes after pupil tests positive for coronavirusSeething and Mundham Primary School and Tivetshall Primary School in South Norfolk have also closed as they do not have any vulnerable or key worker children.


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Mark Carlyle, Tivetshall executive headteacher, said: “This temporary closure will be reviewed daily to ensure that if our vulnerable children, or children of key workers require provision we will be able to make arrangements.”

Closed due to lack of pupils: North Elmham Primary and Stibbard All Saints Primary. Pictures: NEP/Ni

Closed due to lack of pupils: North Elmham Primary and Stibbard All Saints Primary. Pictures: NEP/Nigel Jones - Credit: NEP/Nigel Jones

At Tacolneston Primary School there is just one pupil who is now attending its federated sister school Morley CE VA Primary.

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White House Farm Primary School in Sprowston said it was also reviewing the situation daily after closing due to lack of pupils.

Sewell Park Academy (SPA) is also closed until further notice, with provision for children of key workers and vulnerable students moved to Sprowston Community Academy, but with lesson provided by SPA staff.

MORE: ‘It’s a bit quiet and eerie’ - The first day of very different school lessonsMeanwhile following concerns among school and teachers’ leaders about a lack of clarity on how to keep those children and staff, updated advice was published by the Department for Education on Tuesday evening.

Guidance says that break times should be staggered for pupils still attending school to prevent groups of children gathering, and that lunch times and movements of children around the school should be split up.

- The full list of schools closed or particularly affected is at the Norfolk County Council site.

- For updates on how coronavirus is affecting Norfolk, please visit our Facebook page here

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