A PRIMARY school in Risca has been forced to close its nursery for the rest of the month due to staff absence.

In a letter to parents, Ty Sign Primary School's headteacher Becky Sims said this was "not a decision we have taken lightly", but one that was necessary due to "significant difficulties with covering staff absence".

Nursery staff will now be moved into other classrooms "to try everything possible to keep statutory age classes open".

The school's decision was taken after advice from Caerphilly County Borough Council and speaking with the chair of governors, Mrs Sims added.

This means the nursery school at Ty Sign Primary will be closed until November 1. Mrs Sims apologised for any inconvenience the closure may cause.

Mrs Sims said staff absence due to illness had meant "We have not had one day with a full staffing complement this term".

She praised the school's "incredible staff team for their resilience and flexibility in working in these very difficult circumstances during the continuing global pandemic".


Difficulties in finding supply teachers and teaching assistants meant the staff at Ty Sign Primary have been "regularly working with reduced support in classes and are undertaking additional roles and duties to keep our children safeguarded.

This has included staff "giving up their statutory non-contact time and break times" to cover shortages, Mrs Sims said in her letter to parents.

And while it is hoped the closure of the nursery will enable teaching to go on in other parts of the school, the headteacher admitted the problems may continue.

Thanking parents for their understanding and support, she said: "Should staffing shortages continue to be a problem, we may unfortunately have to consider asking other groups of pupils to work from home.

"We will do everything possible to avoid this but we are aware that other schools in Caerphilly have already had to take this step.

"This will only happen in extreme circumstances and we will give you as much notice as possible and learners will be provided with blended learning opportunities."

The Argus has contacted Caerphilly CBC to find out the extent of staff absences in schools across the county borough.