Philip praises teachers for efforts during the year

Tony Jones, PA Court Correspondent
·2-min read

The Duke of Edinburgh has paid tribute to teachers and school staff for their efforts teaching the nation’s children “in the most challenging conditions”.

Philip praised their “selfless dedication” in a rare public message sent to school workers at the start of the Christmas holidays in his role as patron of the Chartered College of Teaching.

The duke said: “I commend all teachers and school staff for your professional and resolute commitment throughout the past year to teaching our children and young people in the most challenging conditions.

“As patron of the Chartered College of Teaching, I wish to thank you all for your selfless dedication and send you my best wishes for a well deserved break over Christmas and the New Year.”

Philip retired from public duties in 2017 and has made few official appearances or comments since. He was last seen in public during the summer when he handed over his role as Colonel-in-Chief of The Rifles to the Duchess of Cornwall.

His comments follow a year which has seen schools across the country close their doors during the first national lockdown held to combat coronavirus.

Philip during his last public appearance during the summer. Adrian Dennis/PA Wire
Philip during his last public appearance during the summer (Adrian Dennis/PA)

When classes returned schools faced further disruption to academic life whenever a pupil or teacher contracted the virus.

On Thursday, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson announced that the majority of secondary school and college pupils will start the new term online and all face-to-face lessons will resume on January 11.

The Government said the staggered return to in-person lessons would allow headteachers to roll out mass testing of children from the first week of term.