100 pupils kept at home due to illness

Staff illness forced a Central Otago high school to keep 100 year 12 pupils from school yesterday.

A post on social media from Cromwell College yesterday said year 12 pupils were asked to remain at home and continue with online work "due to significant staff illness".

Cromwell College has a roll of more than 600 pupils in years 7-13, 100 in year 12.

Principal Mason Stretch said it was too early to tell if pupils staying home due to staff sickness would be a regular occurrence over winter.

"We usually have sufficient relievers but [yesterday] we had 12 staff away either unwell or supporting their whānau", he said.

The school had previously rostered year groups home in 2022, when there were high levels of Covid among staff.

The year group to be kept home was decided by the number of staff available, activities planned for pupils, such as tests, and the ability of families to support at pupils at home, Mr Stretch said.

Relief teachers appear to be in short supply in other areas of the South too.

On Saturday, the Otago Daily Times reported on the relief teacher shortage in North Otago, North Otago Primary Principals’ Association chairman Brent Godfery saying teachers were being forced to come in sick because of a lack of relievers.