'Excitement and nerves' as children head back to school

  • Watch Elodie Harper's report from Weedon Bec Primary in Northamptonshire and Samuel Whitbread Academy in Bedfordshire

Children across East Anglia have started returning to school as part of the Government's first step in exiting lockdown.

Primary schools have opened for all pupils, but there is a phased return for secondary students.Secondary students are also being asked to take regular Covid tests and wear face masks in the classroom.

  • Watch Victoria Lampard's report from Abbots Green Academy and Sybil Andrews Academy in Bury St Edmunds

Ang Morrison Headteacher, Abbots Green Academy in Bury St Edmunds, said: "I think it's been a roller coaster of emotions.

"We've got over 400 children with us today, from the age of 2 to 11, but prior to that in lockdown we had between 100 and 150 each day, so it's been very busy for all of us during that time.

"We wanted everybody starting at the same time so we get that community feel back in and on track again.

"Seeing those faces come through the gate today, seeing the smiles, makes it all worth while and however worried you are, seeing the buzz and seeing the excitement, is exactly why we do what we do."

  • Educational Psychologist, Dr Gavin Morgan, speaks to Becky Jago about the impact on children and parents

Secondary school pupils are being asked to take three voluntary Covid-19 tests on site and one at home over the first fortnight.

They will then be sent home-testing kits to use twice-weekly.

Children's minister Vicky Ford, MP for Chelmsford, said: "The lateral flow tests when they're done in that supervised way, the chance of a false positive is less than one in 1,000, which is why when you're doing it in the school setting we don't recommend that you then need a second PCR test.

"When they can move to doing it in a home setting, if they get a positive test then they can double check that with a PCR test afterwards."

She added that secondary school pupils should be "strongly encouraged" to wear masks but has decided against making their use mandatory due to pupil anxiety.

Primary school pupils have all gone back today, but there's been a phased return for secondary schools. Credit: ITV News Anglia