Breaking: Schools To Close Until April

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three months from January.

Pupils at Stoke Primary Academy, Lower Stoke, near Hoo, will attend the Allhallows Primary Academy until the end of Term 4, on April 1, to help with growing staffing issues.

The Stoke Primary Academy will close until April due to ongoing Covid-19 pressures. Picture: Google Maps

The decision will be in effect following the Christmas break.

Spokesman Richard Taylor said: “During the pandemic, the challenges of running a small school like Stoke Primary Academy have been amplified.

“As a result of ongoing staffing and operational challenges, we have had to make the difficult decision to undertake a temporary closure of the site until the end of term four, by which time we hope we will be in a position to fully reopen.

“We held a virtual parental consultation event to answer any questions from parents about the temporary closure and to reassure them this decision does not affect the long-term status of the school.

Pupils will continue with their education at Allhallows Primary Academy

“This is not a decision we have taken lightly, however, by temporarily undertaking this measure, we will be in a position to operate more effectively, ensure our staffing levels are safe, provide better support services and protect the learning of the children at Stoke.”

The Allhallows Road school has been hit by a combination of difficulties throughout the past year, such as recruiting new staff and dealing with current members of staff who have had to self-isolate.

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At all times the academy needs a minimum number of staff on site to operate safely.

As there are only a handful of adults working at the school, it only takes a couple of absences for it to close due to safety concerns.

The school has been hit by staffing problems
The school has been hit by staffing problems

Pupils will attend the nearby Allhallows Primary Academy in Avery Way.

As a bigger site, the school hopes the change will offer pupils are more stable experience rather than continue to operate erratically at the Stoke location.

Mr Taylor added: “This change will be supported by robust Covid-secure measures at the Allhallows site and utilise existing transport arrangements.

“We appreciate this academic year has been challenging and has led to uncertainty for so many children across Medway.

“However, by undertaking these steps, we are able to offer some certainty and stability.”

He added the closure is not related to any potential decision on the future of Stoke Academy and is purely linked to current operational reasons.

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