An independent day and boarding school in Bushey has appointed a welfare officer to provide professional support to pupils who are struggling with barriers to learning.

Claire Weldon will work with students at St Margaret's who are experiencing anxiety and other mental health concerns which have been exacerbated by the pandemic.

Ms Weldon is a former primary school teacher who has also worked in further education providing pastoral and welfare support to college students.

Following her appointment, Ms Weldon said: "For me, it has always been important to work in an environment that places children’s welfare at the heart of everything.

"On visiting St Margaret’s for the first time, its focus around providing quality pastoral care really shone through. Essentially, my role is to help any child who feels worried, upset or anxious in school.

"Having the opportunity to talk these things through and to develop clear, coping strategies that they can use every day, is going to help them to re-build confidence and resilience over time, so that they can achieve their goals."

Watford Observer: Claire WeldonClaire Weldon

Head teacher Lara Péchard added: "I’ve always been very passionate about the importance of providing the right care and professional support around pupil welfare. The more we can do to listen, support and equip children with the right tools to overcome their anxieties, the better. 

"Our children have been through a lot in this last year or so and I am confident that in bringing Claire onto our team, we will continue to make positive strides forward."