Schools support efforts to keep essential services running
The county council has been working with schools, nurseries and partners in the NHS to make sure that essential frontline staff can continue to go to work.
As of Friday 3 April, 1274 children were being supported by schools in the county, as parents and carers continue their roles in hospitals, care homes, shops, out on the roads delivering goods and more.
In addition, nurseries and other early years providers have pulled together, with every child in the county who needs care being found a place. Some nurseries have taken on extra youngsters as others are forced to close.
Whilst most schools have been handling childcare arrangements locally, the council has set up a number of link advisors to provide support where necessary. Each advisor has experience in education, many previously holding senior leadership roles in schools.
Support for families in the county has also been extended to run throughout the Easter holidays, with some schools joining forces to provide a hub of support and some working on a rota basis. Where necessary, times have been extended to meet the needs of parents and carers who are on hours outside of the usual school day.
Patrick Molyneux, cabinet member responsible for education, said: “I want to extend my admiration to all schools and early years providers – you have been incredible.
“The work that teachers and early year’s staff are doing is invaluable, many having to juggle their own childcare, to ensure others can still do their key roles.
“I want to assure you that we will continue to provide support to you all for as long as it takes to get through the current crisis.”
Schools have also put in place provision for free school meals, in line with Government guidance, for those who usually receive them, either by providing meals or arranging delivery of packed lunches or for supermarket vouchers to be issued.
In addition, the county council announced yesterday that it has been working with their free school meals partner, Caterlink to send out food hampers to make sure children who are in isolation do not go without their free school meals. A further 8,000 are due to be sent out during the Easter holidays.
The county council has set up a frequently asked questions page on their website.
A dedicated phone line and email address has been set up to help parents with all school related enquiries, including questions relating to free school meals. Tel: 01452 426015 Email COVIDSchoolenquiries@gloucestershire.gov.uk