HUNDREDS of primary children are still attending a school in Basildon while teachers embark on plans to replicate regular timetables online “as much as possible”.

Staff revealed to the Echo that 271 students are attending Lee Chapel Primary school, a week into England’s third national lockdown.

Headteacher Sue Jackson said this is because of the school’s close proximity to Basildon Hospital, with children of key workers allowed to attend schools.

One-and-a-half miles sits between the two.

It comes as Katie Scarnell, headteacher at Greensward Academy, in Hockley, explained how teachers at the school are replicating five lessons a day.

She thanked her teachers for keeping education going despite the draconian measures, saying: “Our online attendance is around 96 per cent last week.

“Our parents have thanked us everyday. They’ve been brilliant as well.

“We had to move to remote learning before Christmas so were organised this time around. Teachers had already planned for two weeks of virtual teaching.

“Staff have been hugely creative. They’ve been brilliant.”

Mrs Jackson said 774 students are learning virtually, while 16 teachers are on site.

She added: “Each teacher will have 30 students to teach virtually. They are teaching English, maths, geography, and history at the moment. Our assistant head is starting a Big Read class from this week. He will be getting up to all sorts.

“Our parents are really appreciative at the moment. I have had countless emails.

“With everything going on, we need to keep the school open for key workers. They are on the frontline.

“For those who don’t have laptops, we are able to give them out, and for those parents who are struggling, my door is always open.

“It’s my discretion whether I say for those who are struggling to come into school. The school has never been closed, our teaching (online) will continue.”