TEENAGERS who missed out on a special farewell due to pandemic restrictions have returned to school for a final send-off.

Year 11 students from New Rickstones Academy, in Witham, were treated to a delayed leavers' day, months after they finished their schooling.

Although they completed their last academic year, students were unable to celebrate together due to Covid-19 pandemic restrictions.

But now they have marked the end of their secondary school days in style with an assembly, barbecue, fairground rides and inflatables – as well as the traditional shirt signing.

In the evening, the former students also glammed up for their delayed prom.

Head of school Simon Gibbs said: “We had a fantastic turn-out, with 90 per cent of the year group returning for leavers' day.

"The fact they wanted to come back and spend time with their friends and teachers is testament to the mutual respect and relationships they built here.

“This was an opportunity to have students back to celebrate their successes, have some well-earned fun and give them a good send-off.

“They had a tough road being off school for all of those months and not knowing what they would be facing with regards to exams.

“It was fantastic to have them back in school – they had instantly matured from Year 11 students to young adults.

"At the end of the prom, they just did not want to leave as they were enjoying being with their friends and teachers.”