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Schools forced to close as Covid causes shortage of teachers

SEVERAL schools in England have been forced to tell pupils to stay at home once again due to a wave of staff absences from Covid.

Education leaders had warned that teacher shortages caused by the spread of the Omicron variant will cause disruption and could lead to widespread closures in the weeks ahead.

Education secretary Nadhim Zahawi has urged school leaders in England to do “everything in your power” to maintain face-to-face teaching ahead of schools’ reopening this week.

Mr Zahawi outlined measures to cope with the rapid spread of Omicron, including include on-site testing, the return of wearing of masks in classrooms, and provisions to improve ventilation.

The Liberal Democrats have called for a £30 catch-up voucher for every day missed by school students for Covid-related absence. Labour, meanwhile, has urged the government to expand school testing and ventilation measures.

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