Bermondsey school headteacher gets Lord Mayor’s award for Covid response

Kit Heren (22 July, 2021)

'I am proud of how all my colleagues at Compass rose to the challenge,' Compass head Marcus Huntley said

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The headteacher of a Bermondsey school was honoured by the Lord Mayor of London this week for the school’s efforts during the Covid crisis.

Marcus Huntley, principal of Compass School on Drummond Road, was given the Lord Mayor’s Covid award at a special ceremony on Mansion House in the City on Monday afternoon, July 19.

The award was recognition of the school raising £40,000 to provide children with laptops after learning went online in the first lockdown. Money also went on book packs, internet access and wellbeing activities for students.

Mr Huntley said: “I was initially unsure of the idea of running a campaign. With temporary mortuaries being built, asking for money for laptops seemed crass. But I could see the longer-term damage to pupils if they were out of education for a long time. Something had to be done and this was the best decision I made.

“Collecting this award is a great honour in what has been a challenging eighteen months, and I am proud of how all my colleagues at Compass rose to the challenge posed by the pandemic, organising the set-up and distribution of the laptops, carrying out home visits, food drops, and setting up fun online community activities such as a weekly Kahoot quiz alongside our virtual learning.”

Parents of children at the school were delighted with the fundraising efforts. “This is such a good thing,” said Marsha Phillips-King, whose daughter was in Year Eight at the time.

“She has aspirations to be a vet in the future and we’ve both been worried about her falling behind. This means she can now keep on top of her work and not get stressed.”

Compass held a virtual prize day last week after three year groups – or about 100 children – had to self-isolate following some positive Covid tests at the school, Mr Huntley said.

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