Torrington school switches to remote learning after Covid cases

Great Torrington School

Great Torrington School - Credit: GTS

A school in North Devon has taken the decision to switch to remote learning for the rest of the week in order prevent ongoing Covid transmission within the school community.

Great Torrington School this week made a decision, based on the number of pupils now not attending in person, to move its learning from face-to-face in the classroom, to remote learning for all its students for the rest of the week.

All Year 10 students had already been asked to self-isolate, along with several groups of identified pupils in Years 7, 8 and 9, and the school’s headteacher Andy Bloodworth has asked all pupils to remain at home for the rest of the week to create a five-day break to reduce the likelihood of ongoing contact

Children of key workers and those considered vulnerable are continuing to attend school for lessons while they show no symptoms of having the virus, but in a letter to parents, he said that if the move to remote learning is to be effective it is important these requests are minimised and based on absolute need.

Devon County Council and Public Health Devon are working very closely with schools across the county, following a rise in cases across all ages, but predominantly among Devon’s younger and younger working age population.  


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Great Torrington School earlier this week made a decision, based on the number of pupils now not attending in person, to move its learning from face-to-face in the classroom, to remote learning for all its students for the rest of the week.

In his letter, Mr Bloodworth said: “I am very sorry to have to inform you that we have reluctantly decided to switch our provision to remote learning. I am therefore asking all our pupils to remain at home for the rest of the week, to create a five-day break to reduce the likelihood of ongoing contact.

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“We have continued to work with PHE, Public Health Devon, SWHPT and the Local Authority, but despite our best efforts, we have been unable to prevent ongoing transmission within the school community. We believe this decision will give us the best chance of protecting the health of all our pupils, their families, and our staff, whilst minimising the impact on learning.

“To provide consistent education to all pupils we will be providing “live” lessons via OneNote as before and pupils must follow their timetable and the timings of a normal school day. We will remain open to those children of key workers and vulnerable children who are not required to self-isolate where this is absolutely necessary, but if the move to remote learning is to be effective it is important these requests are minimised and based on absolute need.”

He added: “You will be aware that we have already asked all Year 10 students to self-isolate, along with several groups of identified pupils in Years 7, 8 and 9. All these groups have, or will have, received a letter indicating when they should return. These pupils must continue to self-isolate until their date of return.

“For those pupils who have not been asked to remain at home and self-isolate, I ask you to continue to regularly complete LFD tests, and if your child remains symptom free and tests negative on Monday morning, they may return to school on Monday.

“I would like to take this opportunity to encourage all pupils to remain stringent with hygiene and social distancing measures and to continue with regular LFD testing to help reduce the risk of any transmission. In addition, in line with updated Public Health guidance, I would encourage all pupils who have been identified as close contacts to access PCR tests via the usual channels.

“This decision was not an easy one to reach, I hope you can understand that the safety of pupils, their families, our staff, and the community, is our priority.”

Pupils at Great Torrington School who have not been identified as a close contact of a case, are not a household contact, have not tested positive either on an LFD or PCR test themselves, and are not displaying any COVID-19 symptoms, are not required to self-isolate and can continue their daily activities as needed, although will have to attend school remotely.

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