STUDENTS could be forced to return to online learning if teachers can't get to school amid the petrol crisis, headteachers have warned.

Kids embraced online learning during the height of the Covid pandemic – having classes on Zoom as Brits were forced to isolate.

But with drivers panic buying petrol despite warnings to remain calm, some schools have warned online learning could return.

The Times reported schools were monitoring the situation closely as violent scenes erupted at some petrol stations.

One Surrey school wrote to parents saying: “The current petrol crisis could potentially disrupt school next week. The ability of staff and pupils to get to school may be compromised and there may also be issues with our food deliveries.

"We sincerely hope that it won’t be the case, but if it becomes necessary to temporarily move to online learning, we will consider this as an option.

"Clearly, we have no desire to go back online so soon after the challenges of the last couple of years but we cannot exclude the possibility that it may be Stranded teachers may return to online classroom necessary. We will, of course, closely monitor the situation and will keep you fully informed."

Teachers have also taken to social media to flag concerns over the panicked scenes at petrol stations.

 It comes as…

  • Petrol supplies have been plundered with industry figures revealing 85% of stations have run out of fuel
  • Drivers have been warned to stay calm
  • Brawls have broken out across forecourts – including dramatic scenes between moped drivers
  • Competition laws have been suspended in an attempt to curb panic buying
  • The UK’s second-biggest oil refinery faces collapse over a £223million VAT payment
  • An ambulance crashed into traffic waiting for petrol while rushing to an emergency
  • Grant Shapps blamed hauliers for the chaotic scenes
  • A list of petrol stations with fuel can be seen here

One wrote on social media: "So I just tried to get petrol. Woman at station questioning people to see if they qualify.

"It was my turn (I don't have enough petrol to get to school tomorrow. Just £10' worth I need). She asked if I'm an essential worker, I said Teacher, she said no! What now then."

 Read our petrol crisis live blog for live updates on the crisis

And headteacher Gemma Penny wrote: "Really! Forget Covid, petrol shortages are now having an impact on schools being able to deliver. I have had to offer to pay for taxis to ensure staff get to work tomorrow. Really people."

Petrol-starved motorists were urged to keep calm today as millions went back to work.

Many had spent the weekend struggling to refuel at packed forecourts — with up to 90 per cent running dry.

Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said: “It will obviously be a concern for schools if teachers and support staff are unable to get petrol over the next few days and they may well be considering how to handle this.”

Fights broke out and there were fears schools could shut and care homes run out of food.

The Government insisted there was no fuel shortage and de­fended plans to ship in as being like “throwing a thimble of water on a bonfire”.

Last night the Government agreed to tear up competition rules so big fuel firms can work together to supply areas worst hit by shortages.

Transport Minister Grant Shapps appealed for calm and said the crisis would eventually resolve itself.

He stressed: “There is plenty of fuel within the country. If people fill up cars when they normally would then you won’t have queues and you won’t have shortages at the pump.”

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