A HEADTEACHER says he is hopeful all students and teachers will be back in school by September.

Plume Academy’s Carl Wakefield says he and colleagues are already working on plans to get all 1,800 pupils and staff attending on a daily basis when the new academic year begins.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the House of Commons all pupils will be back in classrooms by September.

Plume Academy, which is based in Maldon, has already reopened for Year 10 and 12 pupils for the first time since the coronavrius lockdown began in March.

The academy has one class each for Year 12s and Year 10s as well as two classes for key worker children who have attended the school throughout lockdown.

With pupils beginning to return, Mr Wakefield admits he has been impressed by both the his students’ willingness to adapt.

He said: “This has continued to be a fantastic team effort with our staff, our students and our families continuing to work alongside and in support of each other as we have continued to navigate our way through these ever-changing times.

“They have all displayed great resilience and shown real empathy and understanding of each other’s bespoke predicaments.

“I remain incredibly proud of them all.”

Plume Academy has developed a “Virtual Remote Learning Programme” which has been rolled out to 1,350 students still learning from home.

The programme is available to children in all year groups and enables them to access three live lessons a day as well as weekly assemblies.

Mr Wakefield says preparations are now underway for September, but has warned those plans will be dependent on the rate of coronavirus infections in the UK.

He added: “We are working exceptionally hard in terms of planning for September where, in an ideal world, all 1,800 of our students and a full cohort of staff will be back in and working alongside each other on a daily basis.

“However, we are also looking at other options of course if this proves not to be possible.

“It will all be based on Government directives linked to key benchmark data such as the Covid-19 alert level, the infection rate, and the progress of the national track and trace system.”