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Staff shortage forces partial closure of Oxford secondary school

Years 7, 8 and 9 at The Oxford Academy have returned to home-learning from today.

A secondary school in Littlemore has been forced to close to years 7, 8 and 9 - because of a staff shortage.

The Oxford Academy students will move to home learning from today - for at least one week.

Posting on Facebook, Headteacher Nora Ward said it was not possible to operate safely due to large numbers of teaching and support staff being absent from school through illness. 

The statement read: 'It is with regret that I write to inform you that I have taken the difficult decision to close our school to years 7, 8 and 9, starting tomorrow, 23rd of November.  

'Instead of attending school, students in these year groups will be placed on home learning.'

Mrs Ward explains that the year groups will return at 'the earliest opportunity, which is likely to be no sooner than Wednesday, 1st December and is contingent on the staff illness levels.'

She said: 'As a school, we have done everything we can to cover lessons over the past few weeks with existing staff and by booking supply staff, but we are at a point now where absence levels are beyond our capacity.  

'There are also real challenges around securing high quality supply staff in high numbers.'

The Oxford Academy will work with staff, the local authority and the River Learning Trust to keep the absence levels under regular review, according to Mrs Ward, who promised to update families by the end of this week.

Students will begin using Google Classroom from today and those who are in receipt of free school dinners will be issued with a voucher.

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