MP thanks Covid Heroes

Local MP and Shadow Minister for Mental Health, Dr Rosena Allin-Khan visited Nightingale Community Academy (NCA) to recognise Covid heroes and thank staff for their commitment to keeping the school open during the pandemic. Like special schools across the country NCA remained open to all of its children through each lockdown.

She thanked volunteer Nerissa Buckley from the charity Chefs in Schools who came into the school every week to cook and provide the NCA pupils and staff with a hot meal during the pandemic. Food parcels that included healthy ‘ready meals’, cereal and fruit were also delivered to pupils who were not able to attend school, to help families provide healthy nutritious meals at home.

The manager of Tom’s Farm, Josh Farrell, was also recognised for his commitment to enabling pupils to benefit from animal therapy on site and for expanding the opportunities that the onsite farm offers to the school.

Other members of staff recognised for going above and beyond during the pandemic included Office Manager Sharon Smith, and Lead therapist Claudia McGowan who delivered face-to-face and remote therapy to some of the most vulnerable children in the community, even when this meant travelling out to children’s homes.

Dr Rosena Allin-Khan MP said, “Nightingale Community Academy is a truly remarkable school for boys with social, emotional and mental health needs. Not only are the teachers and support staff, dedicated, the students welcoming, and the catering team passionate – they also have a working farm!

“Tom’s Farm is truly special. From taking care of the animals to competing in national young farmer competitions, students here are provided with the very best learning opportunities.”

Andre Bailey, Principal of Nightingale Community Academy, “We were pleased that Dr Allin-Khan was able to visit our school and see all the good work that we do. Her visit provided a real boost to staff who worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic and continue to do so to provide the best support and opportunities for our young people.”

The principal and leadership team, well supported by the Orchard Hill College and Academy Trust, have provided strong leadership, which has had a positive impact on the school’s effectiveness. As a result, there have been improvements in all areas, most noticeably in pupils’ behaviour and attitudes, the curriculum and in the wider opportunities for pupils.

Ofsted, February 2019

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