Headteacher reassures parents school is ‘as safe as it can be’

Sixth-formers Olive, Molly and Annabel.

Sixth-formers Olive, Molly and Annabel. - Credit: Archant

Staff from a North Somerset school are ‘thrilled’ to see students return to classrooms and have thanked parents for putting their trust in them.

Chris Hildrew, headteacher of Churchill Academy and Sixth Form, praised students who have adapted well to new safety guidelines and reassured families school is ‘as safe as it can be’.

Churchill Academy and Sixth Form welcomed pupils back at the start of September, but within days fifty-seven pupils had to self-isolate following a case of coronavirus.

The school was quick to react and has ramped up safety precautions. Pupils who are self-isolating have also been able to watch lessons and access classwork online.

Mr Hildrew said: “We are delighted to have our children back – just absolutely thrilled. They have been absolutely superb.

“Of course, there’s a degree of anxiety about coming back but they have been fabulous, really compliant and helpful and they recognise the need to be

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“They have been delighted to see one another and us as well. Many are grateful to have some structure back and a timetable, that’s been really good for a lot of them.

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“Even when we had the positive test on Tuesday and we spoke to all the students via a video link to their class, there was no panic or fuss, they just understood what was happening and that they needed to be extra vigilant and careful.”

Pupils sanitise their hands when entering or leaving a room and wear face masks in communal areas and on school transport.

Bus runs are staggered to reduce queuing, there is zoned seating to keep year group bubbles separate and staff have also implemented additional safety provisions for pupils with health conditions, or loved ones who are more at risk.

Mr Hildrew said: “There’s an understandable level of anxiety in parents, but they also really recognise that schools are doing everything they can to keep pupils safe.

“If they could see what we see on a daily basis, they would know it’s as safe as it can be.

“I want to thank all the students for putting their trust and faith in us and being so positive about coming back, and families too for recognising we are doing the best we can to look after their children.”

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