STAFF shortages caused by the pandemic have forced a Southampton school to close for the rest of the week.

Students at Woodlands Community College have switched to online learning at home because a further 11 staff are having to self-isolate after being contacted by NHS Track and Trace.

In a message to parents headteacher Jim Henderson said: "We have had no further confirmed cases of Covid 19.

"However, because of the significant shortages we now have with staffing, I have worked with the local authority and agreed that we will need to move to all year groups receiving online learning until the end of the week.

"It is with great regret that I have had to make this decision but it is the right one for the safety of all students and staff.

"We will still be providing on-site provision for EHCP students and those considered vulnerable in all year groups. You will be receiving messages or phone calls if you are going to be offered this provision.

"For all other students learning will now be online, using Show My Homework and Google Classrooms.

"All students in all year groups will be required to check in with their tutor in the Tutor Google Classroom daily. This is a safeguarding requirement.

"Students will need to join in the tutor chat or live session as directed by their tutor, and must check their school emails daily.

"I do want to reassure you that the site is as safe, as it always has been, should you wish to take up the offers of provision.

"The vast majority of staff absence is due to the Track and Trace app and there have been relatively few confirmed cases in the

student population and amongst staff.

"I know you may find this concerning but we are continuing to monitor the situation and are working closely with Public Health England and the Local Authority.

"If your child is eligible for Free School Meals, a packed lunch will be available for collection from the school site. However, this must be booked in advance."

Woodlands, which is based at Minstead Avenue, Harefield, is the latest Hampshire school to close as a result of the pandemic.

Yesterday it was revealed that Crestwood Community School at Eastleigh and Hordle Primary School in the New Forest have had to shut.