Hartlepool sixth formers quiz shadow education secretary during tour of new £22million building

Hartlepool students told a leading Labour politician about their ‘topsy turvy’ experiences of the pandemic.

Thursday, 29th April 2021, 12:53 pm

Shadow Education Secretary Kate Green visited English Martyrs School and Sixth Form College’s new £22.5million building.

She was accompanied by Labour’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Hartlepool Dr Paul Williams and was shown around by headteacher Stephen Hammond and Maura Regan chief executive of the 26-school Bishop Hogarth Catholic Education Trust.

Sixth formers shared their experiences of the pandemic with the Shadow Education Secretary.

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Left to right: Shadow Education Secretary Kate Green, headteacher of English Martyrs School and Sixth Form College Stephen Hammond, prospective parliamentary candidate for Hartlepool Dr Paul Williams and chief executive of Bishop Hogarth Catholic Education Trust Maura Regan.
Left to right: Shadow Education Secretary Kate Green, headteacher of English Martyrs School and Sixth Form College Stephen Hammond, prospective parliamentary candidate for Hartlepool Dr Paul Williams and chief executive of Bishop Hogarth Catholic Education Trust Maura Regan.

Max Strelitz, 18, told Mrs Green: “It has been a topsy-turvy experience for young people.

“Some thrived on it while others struggled. One minute you are on top of the world, the next down in the dumps. It’s been like a yo-yo and much more volatile than normal school life.”

Max and his classmates also told the Labour MP that the majority of students would have liked to have sat their examinations rather than relying on continual assessment.

“What would help us now is an end date, some certainty, because at the moment we do not know when this will end,” he said.

Mrs Green told students: “We have got to think about what comes next for the Year 13 students in terms of university and apprenticeships.

"What extra accommodation will be made for them because they may not have had time to be taught particular things.

"With younger students it will depend on the quality of the tutoring as to how well they will be able to catch up.”

Dr Williams said: “Even before the pandemic students’ mental health was a big issue now it feels it has really exploded.”

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