Published: Friday, 19th June 2020

A Medway education trust is the first to hold a national virtual visit with the Secretary of State for Education. 

Rivermead Inclusive Trust has been praised by The Rt Hon Gavin Williamson CBE for its work to support pupils during the pandemic, as well as its collaborative work with our schools team. 

In a statement following the virtual visit on Thursday, 18 June with key leaders from the trust, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “It was an absolute pleasure to virtually visit the Rivermead Inclusive Trust today and speak to the trust leaders, staff and students.

“The team are doing a highly commendable job in giving their pupils and staff a sense of normality, there’s a clear focus on making sure the impact of the pandemic on school life is reduced as much as possible.  

“It was particularly interesting to hear how the trust are supporting pupils’ wellbeing and mental health as they return to school through their Triple R programme. 

“It is a great team effort from everyone across the trust and huge thanks to all of you.”

Trust commended for their work

Medway’s portfolio holder for children’s services and the portfolio holder for education and schools have congratulated Rivermead Inclusive Trust for being the first to hold a virtual visit nationally and have also commended the trust on its specialist work, including through its own mental health provision – Triple R - to support young people at Rivermead School.

Cllr Josie Iles, Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services, said: “We are delighted that a Medway trust has been chosen to hold the first virtual visit with the Secretary of State for Education. It is a testament to the work of Rivermead Inclusive Trust and also all schools, academies and trusts working within Medway. The trust works hard to support the needs of children and families in communities across Medway, including providing specialist support for secondary pupils experiencing mental health issues.”

Following the visit, Tina Lovey, Chief Executive Officer at Rivermead Inclusive Trust, said: “We are very proud of all of our schools within our Trust. We were honoured to be the first Trust nationally to host the Secretary of State. It was an excellent opportunity to showcase our new mental health provision ‘Triple R’ as part of Rivermead School, which specialises in supporting young people who experience a decline in their mental health, back into education.  The learners are at the epi-centre of all that we do as a collection of schools and we are committed to ensuring the well-being for all children in our care.  We have a committed staff team who have really ensured that no child ‘falls through the net’.  Across our Trust our passionate staff have nurtured our learners and supported them through this unprecedented time.” 

Cllr Potter, Portfolio Holder for Education and Schools, has also praised the work of all schools and academies across Medway, which have been supporting each other throughout the pandemic. Cllr Potter said: “I am proud of the support Medway Council, schools and academies have collaboratively provided to children and young people since the start of lockdown. I am particularly proud of the arrangements educational settings in Medway were able to put into place to support vulnerable children and children of key workers, and also the hard work of the teaching staff who continued to support pupils at home. By working together and sharing plans for the phased reopening of schools, more than 90 per cent of Medway primary schools are now open and many secondary schools have recently welcomed back pupils to the classroom.

“We will continue to work together to ensure children and young people living across Medway receive the high-quality educational support they need and deserve throughout the pandemic and in the future.” 

Read more about the virtual visit Rivermead Inclusive Trust had with the Secretary of State.

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