Every child at Mark Hall Academy is being given access to live online learning.

Since joining the BMAT family of schools this year, the school, in Harlow, has launched real-time remote lessons for the first time.

During the last national lockdown, work was set by teachers and children urged to complete it at home in their own time.

At the start of this partial school closure, 170 work packs were being delivered to the homes of students who could not access the internet.

Now, with many families struggling with lack of technology, the Trust has bought and distributed laptops to those unable to join lessons from home.

Vice Principal Rachel Braniff, new to the school and Trust, said: “Our children are now following their traditional timetable, with both teachers and students on screen together. These lessons are as good as an in-school lesson. We have reduced lesson time slightly from one hour to 45 minutes as online lessons can be intense and it gives students an opportunity to step away from the screen to complete tasks and homework.

“There has been a huge injection from BMAT to give laptops to children who needed them. When the last few laptops have been distributed, we will have 100 per cent of our students accessing online learning.

“It is incredible that those barriers have been removed. There are so many factors affecting learning in this situation, so if we can remove them, we are enabling children to access learning on an equal platform."