Pupils receiving remote education can benefit from a package of support being delivered by Havering Council and local schools to help them during the pandemic.
The package aims to ensure that pupils, parents and carers have access to the best provisions to help them during the current lockdown.
They may be eligible to access the following:
- Free school meals to eligible pupils
- Devices and access to free data to support pupils access online learning
- Exercise classes to help pupils to look after their health and wellbeing while at home
- Online learning resources
During the national lockdown, schools and colleges are only allowing vulnerable children and the children of critical workers to attend.
All other children should not attend and are to learn remotely until the February half-term.
Early years providers have remained open, but children attending these settings are being asked to reduce the number of places they visit.
As in the previous lockdown the Council is supporting local residents.
Laptops and other electronic devices, as well as data, are available for pupils in need of them.
Pupils eligible for free school meals will continue to receive nutritious meals, some of which are provided by Havering Education Catering Services and arranged through their schools, and from Monday 18 January, schools will be able to provide parents with vouchers through the national scheme.
This follows previous support which saw free school meals for pupils during the first lockdown in March and a support fund made available during the school holidays, including October half-term and the Christmas holidays.
The Council will be issuing cash payments to families for the February half-term, using the same eligibility as for free school meals.
Families who have already received funds do not need to re-apply as the money will be transferred into their accounts nearer the time.
With a spin on Joe Wicks-style exercise, daily sessions are being offered by local fitness instructor MJ to help primary and secondary pupils with their health and wellbeing. The films will be released daily from Monday, 18 January, and will feature fun and simple exercises which will end with a short session on mindfulness.
Councillor Damian White, Leader of Havering Council, said:
“We know how tough it has been for some parents to have their children at home and support remote education so we’re trying to make it easier for them to find out what is available to them.
“We’re also encouraging parents and pupils to get even more creative at this time to see them through this period. Children can use their game consoles for learning too, but learning from home is not just about sitting behind a computer, it’s a great time to do some traditional things too, such as doing projects and using workbooks, which can be fun and complements their on-screen time.
“I’d also like to say how proud I am of our amazing staff who have gone above and beyond to help parents and the community at this very difficult time. This is yet another example of how the Council is pulling together to deliver vital support to our residents.”
“Being back in lockdown isn’t what anyone wants but it’s crucial that we all work together to keep ourselves and each other safe by adhering to the government rules – keeping socially distanced, only going outside if it is essential and wearing a face covering, unless you are exempt from doing so.”