Chulmleigh Community College students have been hailed for their ‘dignified and magnificent’ response after the Government announced all schools would close after tomorrow (Friday, March 20) and GCSE exams would be cancelled.

Chulmleigh Community College. Picture: CCCChulmleigh Community College. Picture: CCC

Speaking to the Gazette today, executive headteacher Michael Johnson said they recognised it was a national crisis and fully supported the decision taken by the Government.

He said: “I have spoken to all our pupils, and their reaction has been dignified and magnificent.

“We feel for Year 11 and have been impressed by their positive reaction. They will continue to work hard and do their best. I can’t yet comment on the decision regarding exams, because I am waiting to hear what the alternative is.

“This is particularly important because Year 11 and their teachers have worked so hard.”

Year 11 students have nonetheless been disappointed by the news. Florence Job, who is going on to Exeter College to study the International Baccalaureate, said: “I have worked really hard for my GCSEs and want to receive the grades I deserve.

“The Government says that we will all receive qualifications, but the most difficult part is not knowing how this will be done.”

George Singer, also going to Exeter to study A levels in geography, environmental science and business studies, added: “I did really well in my mock exams, but I wanted to prove that I could do even better and get more than I need to get into college.

“It’s also a shame that it seems we won’t get a proper send off from school and transition to college.”

Mr Johnson said the school had anticipated the decision and had planned a comprehensive work programme for all its pupils.

He added: “We have told them to work during school hours and have given them teacher email addresses to ensure they can stay in touch.

“We are also currently investigating the number of pupils who will still be coming to school, as per Government guidelines, and will be putting a plan into action for them.

“All staff will be coming in school as usual on Monday.”