THE current increase in Covid rates nationwide is impacting staffing levels and the ability for schools across Denbighshire to maintain face to face provision.

That is the message from councillor Huw Hilditch-Roberts, Denbighshire County Council’s lead member for Education, Children’s Services and Public Engagement.

“Decisions may need to be made to close classes or year groups due to the numbers of teachers in isolation,” he said.

“We will continue to monitor the situation and will take action to help keep schools safe when required.”

Case rates are being monitored closely across the county and in individual school settings and where cases are identified, close contacts are encouraged to seek a PCR test to identify potential transmission.

Secondary school pupils and staff not displaying symptoms are encouraged to take twice weekly Lateral Flow Device (LFD) tests to help identify and isolate asymptomatic cases and those contacted by Test, Trace, Protect are asked to follow guidance given.

Years 10 and 11 at St Brigid’s School, Denbigh, have switched to online learning for two weeks [from Monday, September 27], due to a number of cases at the school.

The school took the decision following a Risk Assessment and it was based on a Health and Safety assessment.

Parents in Denbighshire took to the Journal Facebook to comment on the situation in schools.

On Tuesday, September 28, Samie Jo said: “It is bad. My stepson has tested on home positive after falling poorly in school yesterday. He has just gone for his main test. It is rife in the schools.”

Celica Loveland said: “My daughter has Covid and has been off school now for nearly two weeks but unless other children show symptoms, they still go to school.

“I’m a single parent and have been told to self isolate due to the one jab - how is a six-year-old boy suppose to go to school by themselves? Lucky enough the school understand but that’s another child missing out on their school days.

“The whole thing is getting daft now. It all needs addressing a lot better.”

Parent Ann Sheldon also voiced her worries.

“I’ve got one child off for two weeks doing online learning. He hasn’t got symptoms but many of the children have in his class.

“I still have to send my other two [to school] and my husband is waiting for heart surgery so I’m concerned about him contracting it.

“I suppose it’s a way of making people vaccinate their children now.”

Claire Perris commented: "As a parent and as teaching support staff I think the situation is currently lose, lose all round.

"Personally, my son's mental health has improved greatly by being back in school and with his friends and I do believe that's so important for them.

"However, equally important is his physical health and those around him. I do believe a lot of children are asymptomatic hence the rapid rise in cases currently. I believe LFTs are not reliable enough for staff who are doing these tests to keep others safe. Close contacts being allowed into schools whilst they await PCR results also seems very backwards. I don't think there is a right way to be doing all of this, and whatever rules are put in place, there will always be someone who isn't happy.

"All I know is staff are o the front line wanting to catch up with children's education and wanting to be there for them regardless. Sadly it is also these staff that get the abuse from parents that are simply following government guidelines."

School leaders’ union NAHT Cymru, recently sent a letter Wales’ health minister Eluned Morgan asking her to step in following a surge in cases across schools and significant strain on the Track, Trace, protect system.

The letter, which was copied to education minister Jeremy Miles, coincided with discussions with the Welsh Government, calling once again for school mitigation measures to be reviewed.

Laura Doel, director of NAHT Cymru, said: “There has been a lack of urgent action by the Welsh government to set in motion a plan after the clear failure of the TTP system. We can’t allow this situation to continue to interrupt the continuity of education for our learners.

“TTP is a vital mechanism in keeping schools open. NAHT Cymru requests that an urgent review of the situation be undertaken.”

Cllr Hilditch-Roberts has thanked school staff and parents for supporting pupils.

“I would also like to thank parents and carers for their understanding at this time,” he added.

Parents are encouraged to be vigilant for symptoms and if in doubt, order a PCR test at or by calling 119.