Rishi Sunak visited a primary school judged to be outstanding to open its new early years climbing frame.
Mr Sunak, the MP for Richmond, spoke to children, staff and governors during his visit to Croft Church of England Primary School.
He cut a ribbon to formally declare the new apparatus open and then toured parts of the school and grounds to meet children and staff. The majority of the visit took place outdoors as a Covid-19 precaution.
During the visit, Mr Sunak answered questions about the pandemic and his job as Chancellor of the Exchequer from members of the School Council.
He said: “I was very impressed by everything I saw and heard during my visit. I received a tremendous welcome from Class 3 on arrival and Class 4 sang the school song most beautifully to say goodbye.
“The school council members had some most interesting and thoughtful questions for me.”
Simon Robson, the school’s headteacher, said it had been big day for the school.
He said: “We were delighted to welcome Mr Sunak to open the climbing frame in our newly developed early years outside area. We were also very grateful that Mr Sunak took the time to visit the rest of the school and show so much interest in the children and answer some of their quite challenging questions.
“As Mr Sunak left us, his final words were that he thought we were a ‘very happy school’ and that made me very proud and privileged to be its headteacher.”
The school has 104 pupils drawn from a wide catchment area and has been has been part of Dales Academies Trust since 2018.
It remained open throughout the pandemic – initially for the children of keyworkers and those most vulnerable and then for selected year groups from June 1.
Over the summer break, the school continued to operate its holiday club so that children in year groups who had not been able to attend school since March were able to enjoy a sense of normality. This was of huge social benefit and also provided much needed childcare for parents who were able to return to work.
As well as a holiday club, the school offers wraparound provision before and after normal school hours.
Its most recent inspection report judged the school to be outstanding for its effectiveness, leadership and meeting the needs of all learners.