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S3 pupils at Monifieth and Brechin high schools return to home working due to staff absences

Brechin High School
Brechin High School

S3 pupils at Monifieth and Brechin high schools are set to return to home working this week due to staff absence.

Youngsters will have to take part in lessons remotely on Wednesday and Thursday due to “high levels” of teachers taking time off.

Angus Council has not confirmed whether the issue is Covid-related – but it comes as absences linked to the virus have been rising in the county in recent months.

A statement from Angus Council said: “On Wednesday March 30 and Thursday March 31, S3 children at Brechin High School will need to stay at home and engage in remote learning.

“All other children should attend school as normal. S3 children can attend school as normal on Friday April 1.

We’re sorry to have to do this but due to high levels of continued staff absence we’ll not have the capacity to cover all lessons

“We’re sorry to have to do this but due to high levels of continued staff absence we’ll not have the capacity to cover all lessons safely on Wednesday and Thursday.

“Your child’s teachers will be in touch with info regarding remote learning. Work will be added to Google Classroom.

“Please contact the school if you have any queries about your child’s remote learning arrangements. Thank you for your patience.”

A similar message was also sent to the parents of children at Monifieth High School.

Union reps call for more teachers

Just days ago, union reps called on councils to hire more teachers after it was found that staffing shortages had led to classes being taught in dinner halls and year groups being sent home.

David Baxter, EIS union rep for Dundee, said: “It’s clear there are not enough supply teachers in the system – there should be enough supply teachers to cover staff absences and pick up the slack.

David Baxter.

“This isn’t the first time we’ve seen kids being taught lessons in dining halls – it was happening before the pandemic.”

Between March 14 and March 20, a total of 376 teachers were absent from schools across Tayside and Fife.

Covid has also taken its toll on pupil numbers, with nearly 400 youngsters missing classes in Angus last Tuesday due to self-isolation.

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