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Richmond Council and Achieving for Children are working with schools in Richmond Borough to coordinate a robust and sustainable response to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Following the guidance issued by the Government on Thursday, schools in the borough are identifying children of keyworkers and vulnerable children, such as those with Education, Health and Care Plans and those who have social worker support. Schools will provide education on site for those children for the last two weeks of this term, and some provision during the Easter holidays period.

All schools will therefore be open for their identified children on Monday, and have organised their staffing appropriately so that teachers and other staff can work whilst safely following the Government’s health guidance. Schools are of course also keeping in touch with their other pupils who are at home and providing online learning for them.

Achieving for Children and schools are developing ‘hub’ models so that smaller schools, with fewer staff and resources, remain able to provide an education during term-time and to facilitate provision during the holiday period.

Some clusters of schools are already working in partnership to share resources. For example, Hampton High staff have volunteered to be deployed on a rota basis to teach science, art, drama, and other subjects in the local primary schools, and to run activities on Hampton High’s multi-use games area for the primary-aged pupils.

Archdeacon Cambridge’s Church of England Primary in Twickenham is working with other, nearby primary schools, to develop a model whereby groups of children from one school can be taught, by their own school’s teachers, in another school.

Achieving for Children is looking to expand the hub models so that resources in any one particular school do not get overstretched as the incidence of Covid-19 affects more keyworkers, including school staff themselves.

Cllr Penny Frost, Chair of Richmond Council’s Education and Children’s Services Committee, said:

"In these difficult and unprecedented times, parents and carers, especially those who are keyworkers and those whose children are vulnerable, can be assured that our schools will pull together and deliver the best possible education under the circumstances.

"I would like to thank schools for the great job they are doing.

"We will work together for our children and families for as long it takes, so whatever support schools need, Achieving for Children and Richmond Council will do their absolute utmost to provide it."

Parents and carers can find out more about the current national education arrangements on the Department for Education website.

Notes for editors

If you are a journalist and would like further information about this press release, contact Elinor Firth on 020 8487 5159.

Reference: P089/20

Updated: 02 March 2021