HEADTEACHER Denis Oliver has stressed the importance of keeping students and staff safe while ensuring the school year ‘starts with as big an impact as possible’.

Mr Oliver leads Holmes Chapel Comprehensive School, and acknowledged the past few months had been very difficult for everyone as the country coped with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

He said: “I believe we all share the same ambition, of ensuring the return of all of our students to their classrooms as soon as we safely can.”

He said over recent weeks the school had taken a number of actions to prepare students and staff for the time when the whole school community returned to school and college.

He said: “Throughout the pandemic we have welcomed the children of key workers and those considered vulnerable into school.

“Those students preparing for examinations next year and who have, for whatever reason, fallen behind in their studies, have been invited into school to access support.”

The school has increased the frequency and quality of live lessons in these years and is extending these to year 9.

Extended virtual contact with tutors has been made possible via timetabled tutorial sessions, where students have had the opportunity to interact and keep in touch with their school.

Mr Oliver added: “As we move to the next stages through the summer we need to ensure the school year starts with as big an impact as possible, while recognising our responsibility to take the steps necessary to keep everyone in our school community safe.

“All of us, governors, parents and staff, share the concerns about the impact the national and local responses to the pandemic have had on schoolchildren.

"Everyone recognises that learning has been so heavily impacted by the lockdown."

Mr Oliver said the school was already working on a range of plans, but would need to fully understand the emerging guidance and advice before it would be able to finalise them.