PUPILS across five year groups at a high school have been told to stay at home with nearly 50 members of staff in self-isolation.

Students in years seven, nine, 10 and 12 at Great Sankey High School will be taught remotely for the five days running from on Monday, October 19, and should not attend in person.

Year eight children were already previously isolating, leaving only years 11 and 13 operating as normal.

As of yesterday, Friday, the Barrow Hall Lane school had a total of 48 members of staff absent – this number having more than doubled in a week, with a ‘significant proportion’ in self-isolation due to track and trace.

A letter sent to parents by headteacher John Shannon said: “Up to the end of September we had had only three Covid-19 cases – yet in the past five school days we have seen a rapid increase of 20 positive cases, with seven in the past 24 hours.

“As a result of this spike, we currently have approximately 30 per cent of our student community self-isolating.

“Alongside this, as of today we now have 48 members of staff absent – with this number more than doubling in the past school week, with a significant proportion being tracked and traced and being required to self-isolate in the past 24 hours.

“This presents significant operational challenges to ensure that we can staff the school sufficiently and, most importantly, safely.

“We have taken the decision for that for the next five days from Monday, October 19, all students in year seven, nine, 10 and 12 not already self-isolating will be taught remotely and they should not attend school.

“Year eight are already self-isolating, and they too will continue to access Google Classroom.

“We do not take these decisions lightly, but also do not want to just simply react to the situation but adopt a proportionate, proactive and measured response based on expert opinion.

“Our intention is that all students will return to onsite provision as normal after half term.

“Crucially, understanding how much learning has already been lost for key examination classes, lessons will operate as normal for those students in year 11 and year 13 and we look forward to seeing them on Monday.”