News headlines – April 2020

<<<    Later headlines
23 Apr 2020    A message from Headmaster Tom Lawson to the Eastbournian Society
14 Apr 2020    Donald Perrens 1919-2020
2 Apr 2020    Barts Covid-19 research appeal - can you help?
>>>    Earlier headlines

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23 April 2020 - A message from headmaster Tom Lawson to the Eastbournian Society

The summer term at the College has been in full virtual mode for the last ten days, and staff and pupils are adapting quickly to the joys and challenges of 'remote' teaching and learning.

Headmaster Tom Lawson has recorded a video message for members of the Eastbournian Society to let you know how the College is dealing with the current lockdown as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

You can view the video here:

To keep up to date with the latest news, please visit the College website or our social media channels:

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14 April 2020 - Donald Perrens 1919-2020

We are greatly saddened to announce the death of Donald Perrens at the age of 101. Donald's daughter Pip Kirtley has sent us this message:

'With quiet sadness I write to tell you that Donald died in the early hours of Good Friday, 10 April. He had had a fall the previous week from which he appeared to bounce back as usual. He was tested and found NOT to have Covid-19, so when he started to go downhill a few days later, I and his wife Marion, were able to go and visit him and say goodbye. He died peacefully at his care home surrounded by staff who loved him, neither distressed nor in pain. At 101, after an exceptionally good innings, it doesn’t get much better than that! He leaves a wife, Marion, five grandchildren, 11 great grandchildren – and me, his devoted daughter.'

Donald was appointed to the College staff by Headmaster John Nugee in 1939 but the Second World War intervened before he could finally take up his post in 1946. He was on the staff until 1981, during which time he ran the RAF section of the CCF before becoming commanding officer in 1954. He was also at various times head of science, housemaster of Blackwater, acting headmaster and second master in the early 1970s, as well as a coach for tennis and hockey.

The College flag is flying at half-mast this week as a mark of respect. Details of a memorial service will be announced in due course.

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2 April 2020 - Barts Covid-19 Research Appeal - can you help?

We have been contacted by Old Eastbournian Dr James Moon (School 1983-88) who has asked us to pass on this good news story about the Covid-19 pandemic.

Dr Moon is a professor of cardiology at Barts Hospital and his team are currently researching Covid-19. He tells us:

'We have got a major project off the ground in just seven days. The UK and the whole research process was incredible in achieving this. This would normally take a year. The study is on health care workers. It promises to tell us a vast amount of much needed science about the disease. We cannot just work harder to get out of this pandemic. Though important, we cannot ventilate our way to safety. Research is needed.'

'The health care worker study will tell us those critical features about what baseline immunity does - prior virus exposure, the state of your antibodies and cells, who is carrying the disease, what the earliest changes are, what the targets will be for pre- or post- exposure prophylaxis are and how immunity wanes over time.'

The way we have done this is striving for collaborative science - we have taken enough samples for 25 major groups to get going trying to understand this disease. In six days we have recruited 360 staff at Barts Heart Centre (the largest cardiac centre in Europe), now focused on Covid with an ITU that has massively expanded to 200 beds. Next week we expand to the Nightingale Hospital with another 600 subjects, and focus also on drug trials there to mitigate this disease.'

You can read more about the project and make a contribution to this vital research by visiting the appeal's JustGiving page at

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