KINVER High School has closed for two weeks due to the coronavirus crisis which has left nearly 60 per cent of staff unable to work in school.

Headteacher Nicola Clifton has confirmed that - due to additional cases of Covid-19 confirmed over the weekend and today (Monday) - the school will be closed until Monday November 30.

Staffing capacity has been hit hard by the virus, Mrs Clifton said in a letter to parents and she added: "As a result, and since we are operating with just over 40 per cent of staff available to work in school, it has now become impossible to continue to operate and open at full capacity.

"This is because we have an increasing number of Kinver High staff who are unwell or are required to self-isolate from either contact within the school or outside of our school setting.

"I have therefore, tonight in consultation my governing body and the Invictus Education Trust, regretfully made the decision to close Kinver High School to all students from today (Monday November 16) for a two-week period."

She added: "This will effectively enable the school to put in place a ‘circuit break’ and reduce the likelihood of increasing cases within our school community, and also enable the school to put in place a deep clean.

"I fully appreciate how distressing this may be to hear, it is unfortunately the decision that I hoped I would not have to make.

"However, much as I would prefer to have all of my students here at school learning; safeguarding the health, safety and well-being of all of my students, staff, our loved ones and those within our local school community is of paramount importance."

Mrs Clifton said all lessons at Kinver High would go virtual for students in all year groups from tomorrow (Tuesday) and she said she hoped the temporary closure would enable the school to thereafter remain open until the end of term.

She added: "Kinver is not the only school experiencing such difficulties currently as cases continue to rise, regretfully this appears to be the case nationally and the situation is becoming increasingly untenable in many neighbouring schools and local authorities.

"South Staffordshire and Kinver in particular, is also unfortunately, seeing an increasing number of cases daily."

According to latest government figures, the current infection rate in Kinver is 844.4 cases per 100,000 people, while in South Staffordshire county it is 460.7 cases per 100,000 people.

The R number in the Midlands is estimated to be 1.1 to 1.3