A school has shut down for two weeks after staff numbers have been hit by Covid.

The Mayflower High School in Billericay closed its doors today after being hit by an "exponential" rise in staff absences due to the need to self-isolate.

School leaders say the site will be undergoing a "thorough cleaning" before it reopens again on December 10.

In a letter written to parents and guardians yesterday, head teacher Lee Brumby explained how there just aren't enough staff available to "provide a safe environment" for students because of track and trace obligations.

He said: “We have been coming under increasing pressure with relation to staffing levels.

“Over the course of the last two weeks, the number of absent staff has risen exponentially.

“During this period of time, we have been trying to cover as much of this absence with supply staff, albeit that this comes at a cost.

“This week, the number of absent staff has jumped considerably, with over half of those being teachers.

“The majority of these new absences have been brought about by notifications of the need to self-isolate.

“The current level of staffing available is not sufficient to provide a safe environment for the whole school.

“We have a duty of care for the safety and well-being of all our students and staff.

“Following discussions with representatives from Public Health England and Essex County Council, we have taken the decision to temporarily close Mayflower High School.”