A headteacher has said he is ‘relived’ that schools are now closed but the situation could have been ‘avoided’ if the government acted sooner.

Plume Academy headteacher, Carl Wakefield was preparing to welcome students and staff back this week before Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that schools must close under the new national lockdown rules.

Now, all 1742 students are learning remotely, except children of key workers.

Mr Wakefield said: “The Prime Minister had no choice but to take action.

“From a student and staff safety perspective, I have to say I feel somewhat relieved, however, I also have to be honest and say I also feel frustrated due to the fact that if the Government had acted when told to do so by their own scientific advisors , I feel this full further national lockdown could have been avoided.

Mr Wakefield said the news is particularly worrying for older students who were preparing for their summer exams, which have now been cancelled.

He added: “This is of course a time of real angst and worry for our Year 11 and Year 13 students.

“At present, my staff and I do not even know what this actually means, however, what I have assured our students is that whatever is eventually stipulated, as we did last summer, we will make it work.

Regardless of the challenges we have to face, we will do so together, whilst staying strong and united.

“Of this I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever hence why I remain extremely proud of them all.”