Malborough Science Academy shuts due to rising COVID cases

The Malborough Science Academy is shut for the remainder of the week, following confirmed student and teacher cases of...

The Malborough Science Academy is shut for the remainder of the week, following confirmed student and teacher cases of COVID-19. Picture: Google Street View - Credit: Archant

Parents have praised the headteacher of a St Albans school for her swift and professional action to keep students safe in the pandemic.

The Marlborough Science Academy is to shut for the remainder of the week, following confirmed student and teacher cases of COVID-19.

An email to parents from headteacher Ms Thomson was sent on Tuesday evening (November 24) stating the school would shut to students of all ages for the remainder of the week, after closing to years 7 and 8 on Monday and Tuesday.

In the letter, Ms Thomson explained this was due to the effect of isolation periods on staffing, with 33 members currently absent.

She said: “I have taken advice from HCC and I have of course spoken to my Chair of Governors and I’m afraid there is no other way in keeping us all safe but to shut the school for all remaining students this week.

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“Those of you who know me well will know how utterly devastated I am to have to write this – you will know, too that I have absolutely no choice.”

Parents have turned to social media to show support for the decision.

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Suzanne Greenwood said: “The school have done an amazing quick turn around of pulling all resources together to teach live virtual classes, I can’t imagine how difficult this is but they are doing an amazing job under the circumstances”.

Another parent added: “Both my boys go here and the school have been fantastic.”

Hayley Merrick also sang Ms Thomson’s praises, saying: “My daughter is in Year 9 and, with this her first day back at home, has been kept very busy with work that’s been set by the teachers, who haven’t stopped!

“Hats off to Miss Thomson; she’s been fabulous, and I think she deserves a medal! Her updates are perfectly timed, have all the info we need & has does her utmost to keep everyone going!”

Staff who are not isolating will be in school and conducting remote lessons, and will accommodate children of key workers or those with other reasons to remain on site.

Daisy Cooper, MP for St Albans said: “Teachers and all school staff in St Albans are working their socks off in the most difficult of circumstances.

“From the start of the pandemic, they’ve stepped up to follow covid guidelines which have been repeatedly chopped and changed by the government, whilst taking on the additional pressures of delivering both classroom and online learning, and the important but hugely time-consuming responsibility of contact tracing.

“Having spoken to Marlborough school’s headteacher, it is abundantly clear to me that the school has taken a responsible and decisive course of action to keep pupils and staff safe and to ensure that students can continue to learn online.

“Earlier this month, as Liberal Democrat education spokesperson, I called on the government to urgently publish a plan to keep schools open safely; I also called for that plan to include priority 24-hour turn-around COVID tests for schools and to give headteachers greater flexibility in introducing rota or other systems that they think will work best for their schools.

“I will continue to press the government to agree the measures I’ve suggested and which our schools desperately need.”

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