Teachers at the Urswick in London hope they are better prepared this time but still face huge challenges

Week one of the third national lockdown and the Urswick school in Hackney, north-east London, was deserted. Just 35 out of a total roll of 890 pupils were present on Thursday, meaning there were two teachers for every child on site. At home, hundreds were still without laptops, with no clarity as yet on how free school meals would be delivered.

While many schools in England have complained of too many children of key workers turning up this week, at Urswick the rows of white benches in the school canteen were unoccupied, the playground empty, and classrooms normally packed with youngsters contained just one or two pupils.

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