More than 2,600 Suffolk students and staff isolating in last week of term

Children now sit in rows and are encouraged not to turn around in classes, says the Secret Teacher

More than 2,600 students and staff in Suffolk were isolating in the last week of term (file photo) - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Parents are keeping children at home to avoid the risk of isolation during the holidays after a rise in Covid cases in Suffolk schools. 

More than 2,600 students and staff in Suffolk schools were in quarantine this week, figures from the county council reveal. Many will finish the school term home learning.

Education leaders are hoping the summer "firebreak" will result in a drop in Covid case numbers ahead of September.

Data released by Suffolk County Council has revealed 2,622 students and staff across 70 schools were in isolation in the week up to July 15 - a figure which has nearly tripled from 960 in the seven days up to June 30.

Around 100,000 people in Suffolk are of school age.

A parent of a child at the Bridge School in Ipswich, who gave her name as Elizabeth, said her daughter's anxiety levels were "sky high" after her class was sent home due to a Covid case.

She said: "Last school Christmas holiday, the school did the same thing and cancelled the last day of term. 

"She was really looking forward to today to say goodbye to her friends. I just worry so much."

Maria Kemble, executive headteacher across the federation of St Edmund's Catholic Primary School in Bury St Edmunds, revealed some parents had opted not to send their children to school to not risk having to isolate in the summer break.

EADT NEWS WEST BUDGETBudget headteacher at St. Edmunds Catholic primary school Maria Kemble

Maria Kemble, executive headteacher across the federation of St Edmund's Catholic Primary School in Bury St Edmunds - Credit: Archant

Most Read

She said: "Isolation has put paid to the end of year celebrations. We had to hold our leaving assembly virtually without parents - it's not the same.

"With the holidays coming up, we've had parents choose to not send their children into school so they don't risk anything.

"I've been on tenterhooks all week - I cannot wait until the end of term."

Dave Lee-Allan, Stowmarket High School headteacher, said up to 300 students at a time had been forced off  the school.

Dave Lee-Allan, chairman of the Suffolk Association of Secondary Heads Picture: ARCHANT

Dave Lee-Allan, headteacher at Stowmarket High School - Credit: Gregg Brown

He said: "It's hugely disrupting at a time when staff energy levels are beginning to flag. It's been enormously challenging.

"We've seen parents have thought to protect their holidays. Whilst we can't condone it, we understand it.

"We hope it becomes normal as soon as possible."

Graham White, the National Education Union representative for Suffolk, added: "This is having a huge impact on staff, children and their education.

Graham White is from the Suffolk branch of the National Education Union

Suffolk NEU representative Graham White - Credit: Graham White

"Teachers are adapting incredibly well to this situation, but it is putting a huge workload on them. They'll be looking forward to the holiday.

"Hopefully that 'firebreak' may help."

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter