Covid Lothian: Pupils from ten classes in East Lothian learning from home due to teacher absences

Pupils from ten classes in East Lothian schools have had to return to remote learning because of teachers self-isolating as the new term began today (Wednesday).

By Ian Swanson
Wednesday, 5th January 2022, 4:45 pm

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Most of the classes affected are in the county’s primary schools, but the council was unable to say how many pupils were having to stay at home or how my teachers were absent either because they have Covid or because a close contact has the virus.

An East Lothian Council spokesperson said: “The majority of our schools have returned to in-person teaching today. However due to the impacts of teaching staff self-isolating, a number of pupils are temporarily learning at home. This mainly affects children in primary school and a small number of our specialist communication bases.

Some pupils are having to learn at home because of teacher absences Picture: Lisa Ferguson

“All of our schools have contingency plans in place so they can make the move to remote learning quickly and are grateful for the support of their families. Support has been given to families throughout earlier lockdowns and in any subsequent temporary periods of remote learning to ensure all learners have the equipment they need to access materials.

“The challenges caused by Covid-19 continue to be significant. It is important that everyone plays their part and follows the important measures that will limit the spread of Covid-19 in society so that essential services, including education, health and social care, can continue to operate.”

Staff in Edinburgh schools returned to work today but pupils are not due back until tomorrow.

A city council spokesman said there were no planned closures of any schools or classes at the moment.

He said if there were problems arising from teacher absences schools might be able to borrow staff from other schools in the same cluster.

But he said in the worst-case scenario of large-scale teacher absences leaving schools without sufficient cover to keep classes or schools open they could revert to the home learning plans which had operated during lockdown.

Pupils in West Lothian schools similarly are not back until tomorrow. Teachers were having a home-based in-service training day today and were being reminded to take a lateral flow test before going to work tomorrow.

In Midlothian, pupils do not return to school until Tuesday next week.

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