THIS week 32,770 schools faced the nerve shredding news that as they were about to open they would be closed.

We are in unprecedented times undoubtedly but the decision to close spread concern and consternation across the nation for parents and children. But there was praise indeed for the reaction of one school, Bedale High. Within hours of the Prime Ministers announcement of the latest lockdown a swift message went out to pupils and parents offering reassurance and support.

Headteacher Tom Kelly couldn’t give exact information about what would happen and how the school could even try and offer the kind of experience the children were losing out on through zoom calls and the internet.

But what he could offer was a determination and an assurance that the staff, who had all turned out for what they thought was going to be the start of the school year for 2021, were there ready and able to offer their help and crucially their professional expertise.

Bedale High School is just one of 4,188 secondary schools across the UK which hold the future of over 2.75m children in their hands. Taxing is definitely one fitting word for how the pandemic has affected school life since last March.

Exams, lessons, and any kind of structured school life has been impossible for every educational establishment in the country. The 500 students at Bedale High School have no doubt struggled alongside the others, Spectator can only hope that the other schools have the kind of impressive support that they have. As Tom Kelly said in his message they learned a lot from the last lockdown and there was total commitment from them that they would tackle this latest challenge together.