Schools reopen to children across Chichester district - 'We have missed having them with us'

Pupils across the Chichester district have returned to school today (Monday, March 8).

Monday, 8th March 2021, 4:37 pm
Updated Monday, 8th March 2021, 5:30 pm

Under the government's roadmap for schools in England to safely reopen from today, teachers and secondary school students have been given access to rapid testing.

Midhurst Rother College principal, Stuart Edwards, said he was 'really pleased' that all students could return.

He added: "We have missed having them with us and look forward to teaching them face to face again.

"I am incredibly proud of how hard they have worked remotely, but it is not the same as being in a classroom with their friends and teachers.

"With regard to the lateral flow device testing, we are following all government guidance and have set up a very efficient test centre to enable us to conduct the tests.

"I would like to express my thanks to local volunteers and our support staff who are helping us – it is great that the community is pulling together in difficult times."

Chichester High School headteacher, Jo McKeown, said all staff are 'delighted that our community is working with us' to 'ensure a safe return to school for our pupils'.

The testing centre is in 'full swing' at Chichester Free School, where 90 per cent of Year 11s have been tested so far

"Today we welcomed Year 7, 11, 12 and 13 back into school," she said. "To see PE lessons taking place, pupils engaged in their learning and laughter at break and lunchtime has made us all smile.”

Chichester Free School (CFS) has also welcomed a large number of pupils back today.

A post on Twitter read: "It's absolutely wonderful to have our primary pupils plus Years 11 and 13 back in school today.

"Mrs [Louise] New, our principal, has been into every primary class and her ears are now ringing with the excitement vocalised by the children!"

The lateral flow testing team at Chichester High School

CFS said it has been 'so impressed' with its secondary pupils, who have participated in the lateral flow testing programme.

A spokesperson said: "90 per cent of our Year 11s have been tested and we are so proud of how they have responded to the situation.

"The testing centre is in full swing and we are looking forward to seeing our Year 10 pupils coming through the centre tomorrow [Tuesday]."

Midhurst Rother College principal, Stuart Edwards, said he was 'really pleased' that all students could return. Photo: Kate Shemilt