A HEADTEACHER has spoken out about how Covid has pushed the school near Hereford to the limit.

David Bennett, executive headteacher at Kingstone's primary and high schools, said staff absences had been particularly challenging but hoped the pressure would ease.

He said changes to self-isolation would hopefully help, but it had been one of the most challenging times of his career.

Mr Bennett, who heads the two schools with more than 800 pupils, said in an end of term letter to parents: "I have got to say that this has been one of the most demanding terms I have ever experienced in education.

"Building on top of the Covid issues from September to December the term started relatively quietly, but then the Covid issues started to raise their head within our staffing in both secondary and primary.

"Both schools have been stretched to the limit at times but have managed to continue due to the dedication of all concerned, from staff in the classrooms through to understanding parents and of course the children themselves."

He said the levels of staff absence would hopefully lower in the coming months, changes to Covid isolation periods would influence this, he said.

The Government has recently changed, with the NHS now telling people in England to "try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for five days" if they test positive.

But those with Covid should also "avoid meeting people at higher risk from Covid-19 for 10 days, especially if their immune system means they’re at higher risk of serious illness from Covid-19, even if they’ve had a Covid-19 vaccine".

But with testing rolled back and now not available for free for most people in England, anyone who has Covid symptoms, a high temperature or does not feel well enough to go to work, should stay at home and avoid contact with other people.

They should try to avoid meeting people at higher risk from Covid. People can return to normal activities when they feel well enough to do so and don't have a high temperature.

Mr Bennett added: "We shall continue to work to overcome that impact to ensure all children, in both schools, have their usual experience of ambitious standards in and out of the classroom."