AN MP has been criticised for making a 'non-essential' visit to an Oxfordshire school on the second day of national lockdown.

The King Alfred’s Academy in Wantage received a pre-planned visit from local MP David Johnston on Friday, who toured the classrooms and met some of the pupils.

But some residents were quick to point out that this is not an 'essential' journey and criticised it for being 'inappropriate' in the middle of a worsening pandemic.

ALSO READ: Two teenagers arrested after violent stabbing in Oxford

Addressing the accusations Mr Johnston said: "I followed exactly what I was required to do, wearing a mask on my tour of the school and in each classroom I went into, and the only time I did not wear one was in the headteacher's office – when we were socially distant – and when I was outside and in neither case are people required to."

Headteacher Rick Holroyd also confirmed that the visit was subject to a Covid-19 risk assessment and that social distancing was strictly observed.

Even more, this was an opportunity to 'lobby' the MP for additional help on behalf of all schools to benefit all students during the pandemic.

Mr Holroyd added: "I was able to share some of the immense pressures and challenges of running a school during lockdown in coronavirus times, and make very clear what additional help we required from the government to be able to meet our obligations to students and families.

ALSO READ: Fresh hopes for decaying riverside hotel

"This was an invaluable opportunity to make the case for additional support on behalf of our students, and it would have been a great shame to have missed out on this.

"A small group of students had a socially distanced panel meeting with the MP to explain how Covid-19 is impacting on their lives and education and future prospects.

"Again, this was a very important meeting both for the students, and also for our MP."