The Government has declined to close schools early following calls from concerned unions and teachers - but parents and carers have been told they can take a “flexible” approach to attendance.
Officials said this was in line with the latest advice from its scientific advisors who reiterated that it was best for children’s wellbeing to remain in school.
They said that parents and carers, staff and trade unions should be reassured, however, that the situation is under “constant review.”
It was acknowledged, however, that some classes may need to close anyway due to staff shortages.
The statement comes after hundreds of staff and students across seven schools were sent home this week after covid cases were detected.
Just this afternoon, Grainville’s Head wrote to guardians to tell them a Year 7 student had tested positive. There have also been new cases reported at St. Saviour's School, Rouge Bouillon, Haute Vallée and Le Rocquier.
Speaking to Express yesterday, National Education Union representative and teacher Brendan Carolan made a call for schools to close early, describing the situation as “totally untenable.”
Pictured: “Teachers are being put under undue strain and are being stretched beyond belief," the NEU spokesman said.
He explained that teachers were finding the ‘hybrid system’ of teaching - with some children in the classroom and others being taught virtually at home - stressful and difficult.
That was on top of the natural worry that teachers may contract the virus in school, or become a contact and have to isolate themselves, he said.
A petition calling for schools to break up a week early went live this afternoon and has since attracted more than 200 signatures.
Explaining the decision to keep nurseries, schools and colleges open, Education Minister Tracey Vallois said: “Evidence shows that schools are not the place where covid-19 has spread. The surge in cases in school pupils this term is being driven through socialising outside of schools.
“Schools, colleges and nurseries have worked tremendously hard to put the health and safety of children and young people first and feedback from many of them is that they want to remain open. If schools were to close, we know it has a huge impact on the loss of education and poses mental health and wellbeing challenges for children and young people."
Pictured: The Education Minister said closing schools would pose mental health and wellbeing challenges to young people.
However, she added: “In recognition of the concerns that some parents and carers have expressed, we will take a flexible approach to attendance and if any parent or carer has significant concern about attendance they should speak to their school.”
Guardians should soon receive a letter from the Government’s scientific advisory body - known as STAC - to update them with the latest medical advice.
Schools are expected to continue implementing staggered break times, pick up and drop off, one-way systems and mask-wearing in hallways for older students to keep everyone safe.
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