Senior pupils at Edinburgh private school to spend last 3 days learning online due to Delta variant spread
Senior pupils at an Edinburgh private school will spend their last three days of term learning from home because of rising covid-19 cases.
The principal of Erskine Stewart’s Melville Schools, Linda Moule, said in a message to parents that the Delta variant - originally identified in India - now appears to be affecting a “significant number of young people across Edinburgh ”
Ms Moule said: “Despite the Covid mitigations we have put in place, this has led to a rise of positive cases in our Senior Schools.
“To protect our students and staff, we have therefore decided to move our senior schools to online learning until the end of term, on Thursday.”
It comes after the Edinburgh Evening News revealed the school was at the centre of a Covid-19 outbreak after more than 100 students and staff attended a party for school leavers.
The afternoon tea party, which was organised by staff for sixth form pupils, was held in a marquee set up in the school’s grounds on June 18. It is understood cases of the virus have been identified in attendees as well as other pupils and staff who did not attend.
The latest message to parents, sent on Monday and seen by the Evening News, said pupil absence in the senior schools is already “very high,” with many parents choosing to keep their children at home to minimise risk of them becoming close contacts and having to self-isolate into the holiday period.
The principal also said the school had three whole year groups working remotely on Monday and that, last week, she decided to cancel a number of end of session events - including prizegivings - to minimise the mixing of year groups.
The message read: “We will repair to our remote model for the last three days of term and children will be expected to register at the start of the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in preparation for their online lessons, following the timetable as closely as possible.
“I apologise for this very short notice. This is an evolving situation but I fear the tipping point has been reached today.”
The message also says that the junior school will continue to operate as normal with children attending school for the remaining days of term.