Published: Thursday, 9th April 2020

Medway Council has been supporting head teachers across Medway to ensure that they are able to continue to support vulnerable children and the children of key workers attend school.

The council has been working closely with all schools, including academies, alternative provision and special education needs and disability settings, to help enable schools remain open to support pupils whose parents are keyworkers or where they need additional support. Some schools are working together if the number of pupils attending is low.

Many Medway schools will also remain open over the Easter holidays. If a child cannot attend their usual school Medway Council is finding them a place at another local school. Places are also available for children over the Easter bank holiday weekend to further support key workers in our community.

All children who are eligible for free school meals, whether they are going to school or not, continue to be provided with food. Schools have a number of arrangements in place to ensure that no child who would usually receive free school meals goes without. If parents have any questions about free school meal provision they are advised to contact their school in the first instance.

Medway Council has also continued to provide transport for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) to ensure that all children who need to are able to get to and from school.

'Ensuring teachers and children are being supported'

Cllr Josie Iles, Medway Council’s Lead Member for Children’s Services, said: “We’re working incredibly closely with schools and academies to ensure that teachers and children are being supported in these unusual times. I would like to thank all the teachers, teaching assistants and all staff for their continued hard work in supporting vulnerable children and the children of key workers. I would also like to thank all of Medway’s children and families for adapting so well to the changes we are experiencing at the moment due to the pandemic.”

'Great community spirit in Medway'

Leader of Medway Council, Cllr Alan Jarrett, said: “We are committed to ensuring that all of Medway’s children continue to thrive and learn well and this has become even more important during these challenging times. Our dedicated Children’s Services staff continue to work hard to support children and families across Medway, especially the most vulnerable living in our communities. I am pleased that so many schools have been able to remain open to look after our vulnerable children and the children of key workers. There is a great community spirit in Medway which is essential in these trying times.”

'Working well together to support children across Medway'

Dympna Lennon, Headteacher of St John Fisher Catholic Comprehensive School and chair of the Will Adams Centre, said: “All of our Medway schools are working well together to support children across Medway. Here at St John Fisher we are supporting pupils by staff planning and marking as well as using online resources and sending paper resources home to families who may not have access to the internet. We are also keeping in touch with pupils and their families through weekly phone calls. We are coordinating well with a range of partner agencies in Medway to ensure children and families are being supported. We are looking forward to welcoming all of our pupils back as soon as possible.”

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