Eastbourne and Willingdon MP Caroline Ansell returned to teaching on Friday as she helps out a local school suffering staff shortages caused by Omicron.

Caroline, who was a teacher before she entered parliament, went to Willingdon School to ensure pupils can remain in lessons.

She undertook general cover with lessons in English, geography and maths, to years 7, 8, 9 and 10.

She answered the call from Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi before Christmas for ex-teachers to sign up to help with Covid staff shortages in the new year.

“Many thanks to the head, staff and students at Willingdon for their warm welcome and support today,” said Caroline.

“As any supply teacher will tell you, it can be pretty daunting entering a school on such a temporary basis and to get to grips with a whole load of things like navigating around, lunchtimes and bells.

“But I really enjoyed being back in the classroom and the pupils were motivated and attentive and I hope they enjoyed it too.

“I am proud to do my bit to help ensure our local schools have enough staff over the next few months as we battle Omicron.

“It has been incredibly difficult for schools, parents and especially pupils over the pandemic with so much missed time in the classroom. If playing a small part means children continue their education then that’s great.”

Caroline is going into local schools in need of staff on Fridays, which is a constituency day, throughout January and February to help keep students in lessons.

Her surgeries and constituency work will not be affected as she will undertake those after school closes. 

Caroline added that her work as the town’s MP will have to take priority if, for example, parliament has to sit on a Friday and her presence is needed, or if there is a pressing issue she must attend to. 

There will be supply agency fees but her pay for teaching will be given back to the school she taught at on that day.