A primary school teacher who was forced to shield throughout lockdown because she is clinically extremely vulnerable has been recognised for her teaching efforts by the government.

Carol Roberts, 38, is a teacher at St Benet's Catholic Primary School in Beccles, Suffolk and teaches years five and six.

Miss Roberts is one of 3.7 million people in England who are classed as clinically extremely vulnerable and were forced to shield during the various lockdowns.

This meant she had to undertake teaching and senior duties while shielding.

Head of the school, Samantha Barlow, nominated Miss Roberts to attend a Number 10 Downing Street evening hosted by prime minister Boris Johnson and education secretary Nadhim Zahawi on Monday, March 28, in recognition of teachers' efforts throughout the pandemic.

Miss Roberts said: "It was such an amazing experience to head down to Number 10 Downing Street because I have a history degree so I've always been interested in it.

"Apart from going to Derbyshire in 2018 this was the first time I ventured out and it was great to be back in London.

"It felt like such a nice evening and my special thanks go to everyone at St Benet's who have supported me and to the head Mrs Barlow who nominated me for the recognition."

Miss Roberts described the 'difficulty' of having to adapt her teaching methods during the various lockdowns.

"For huge amounts of time I was shielding isolated away from everybody," she said.

"It was a difficult period and even though I was allowed back out between July 2020 and November 2020 I felt vulnerable because there were no vaccines at that point.

"I was then shielding again in November 2020 and then from Christmas until April 2021 it was another period of shielding.

"I think for anyone who is a teacher the pandemic has proved to be a testing experience.

"Teaching and carrying out senior duties at home could take its toll while shielding.

"But all the staff at St Benet's have been so supportive and always put our safety and the children's safety first."