A STATEMENT on education is set to be made today – after Warwickshire schools began to shut their doors and revealed a drop in pupil numbers.
Education secretary Gavin Williamson will speak in the House of Commons at 5pm today (Wednesday).
It comes after Wales and Scotland said schools would be closing by the end of the week.
In Warwickshire, Rugby School and Bilton Grange Preparatory School closed today until further notice due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
A spokesperson for the affiliated schools said the decision was taken ‘in the best interests of the children in our care, and our staff’.
No cases of the virus have been reported at the schools.
In Leamington Myton School revealed an attendance of 87 per cent at the start of the week which it expects to decrease. It has also asked some older pupils to study from home.
A spokeswoman said: “We expect our student attendance to drop each day. We are keen to run a full service for as long as possible.
“We’ve had to disrupt some of our Year 12 classes today and this might continue in the days to come.
“We are particularly keen to protect the learning of Year 11 and 13 who are due to sit public exams this summer, and Years 7 and 8 to minimise parents having to take time off work.”
The Kingsley School also saw a rise in absences.
A spokesman told the Observer: “We have a cumulative number of staff and student absences as the week is progressing. There are no confirmed cases in the school but some are symptomatic or self-isolating for protection of themselves, family or those in the vulnerable category.”
And in neighbouring Stratford there has been a rise in staff and student absence, though no classes have so far been cancelled.
A Stratford School spokeswoman said: “We have no confirmed cases of coronavirus among staff or students. However, precautionary advice is starting to take its toll.
“We have 27 staff absent today and student attendance has fallen to 76 per cent. A total of 16 staff are self-isolating in line with government guidance and another 11 are absent for other legitimate reasons.
“However, we are managing to remain fully open to all year groups as things stand.”
Alcester Grammar School has asked Year 12 students to work from home due to staff absence.
A spokesperson said: “Until such time as we are advised otherwise we continue to be open for students who are well and for whom there is no advice to the contrary. However, we have now emailed Year 12 students.”