WITHOUT need to put on their smart shoes, ties and blazers for almost two months, pupils at Ellesmere Primary School were delighted to don their uniforms at home to raise thousands of pounds for good causes.

The school, in Elson Road, is part of North West Academies Trust (NWAT) which wanted to raise money as the vast majority of children have been learning at home since March 23, as the country tackles the coronavirus crisis.

While staff adapted quickly to stay in touch online and ensure all pupils' education journey continues apace, there has been no need for school uniforms, packed lunches or PE kits.

But when they were asked to dress up to earn sponsorship cash, there was no hesitation from the youngsters at the school, joining others in the Trust in Cheshire.

Now the cash is flowing in, with the total is expected to be well in excess of £2,500, with the Hospice of the Good Shepherd, SPACE, Mind, St Luke’s Hospice, the Mid Cheshire Food Bank and the Ellesmere Food Bank are among the charities who will receive donations.

Steve Docking, chief executive officer of NWAT, was delighted with the response.

He said: “The current crisis has tested our schools to their limit and I couldn’t be prouder of the way they have responded.

“Extensive home learning provision was available from the very first day of lockdown, and every day I see something from our staff and children that makes me feel proud.

“By working closely together to share ideas and best practice, I truly believe we are giving our children the best possible education during lockdown.

“The hard work will continue as we prepare to welcome larger numbers of children back into our schools in June, and we are focused and determined to continue our outstanding provision.”

Richard Clark, head of school at Grosvenor Park, one of the NWAT schools, added: "I thought it would be nice to raise money and give children the opportunity to get dressed as they would on a normal Wednesday in term time.

“The teachers miss seeing them every day, so it was great to see them looking so smart with the school’s crest on their blazers and jumpers.

The schools are part of Chester-based North West Academies Trust (NWAT), which is one of the highest performing trusts in the country and oversees Cheshire West’s two top performing primaries.

To donate to Ellesmere's cause, head to https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/ellesmere-primary?utm_term=PPAzkEkyV&fbclid=IwAR2U-kS2vYnklzecmyFpBfrs6Cqp6b7TloAuACFuWPy0ibj0s9SwcbcsLmM