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The chief executive of Unity Schools Partnership has praised the commitment and resolve of school leaders, staff, students and parents as the country begins a new national lockdown.

Schools across the country are today relaunching a programme of home schooling following the announcement by Prime Minister Boris Johnson last night.

Tim Coulson, chief executive of Unity Schools Partnership, said he felt primary, secondary and special schools were better equipped to deal with a period of home learning following lessons learned during last year’s lockdown.

But he also paid a special tribute to school communities who have had to repeatedly react quickly during an uncertain few weeks.

Mr Coulson said: “Since the very first day of the first lockdown last March, I have continually been in awe of our school leaders and staff throughout our 30 schools.

“Their agility, commitment and sheer hard work has ensured we have provided the best possible education – in and out of the classroom – in such difficult times.

“I am confident this will continue during this latest lockdown. Our individual school communities have always worked together to make the best of the situation – and special praise must go to students whose adaptability and resilience have been impressive at every turn.

“I would also like to thank parents and families for their understanding during this time. I know their letters and comments of support to their individual schools have been greatly appreciated.”

Mr Coulson said the nature of the trust, which has schools across West Suffolk, Ipswich, Felixstowe and Romford, meant that there was a united vision to provide the best possible education up until the February half-term, when a national review of the lockdown is expected.

He added: “I am always proud of how closely our schools work together and we will once again share plans and ideas throughout this period – both within our academy trust and with neighbouring schools and trusts.”

Across the trust, schools will remain open for children of critical workers and for vulnerable children.