Devon school staff on duty over Easter holidays to support key workers

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Authored by Mary
Posted: Thursday, April 2, 2020 - 17:56

Teachers and staff in nearly 170 Devon schools are working over the Easter holidays to provide care and support for the children of key workers.

The Government ordered schools across the country to close their doors a week early for Easter because of the coronavirus crisis but asked staff to remain open for the children of key workers such as NHS staff, care workers, delivery drivers and those in the food industry.

Devon's schools have identified which pupils qualify and determined if their families wanted a place.

And, in the first week of what would have been the normal school holidays, 166 schools across Devon are providing care. 
Some are opening independently. Others, such as the five Exeter secondary schools, are providing their support in one location at West Exe School.

Details can be found at https://www.devon.gov.uk/schools/school-closures/latest-school-opening-details-for-easter-2020/

The chairman of Devon Association of Primary Heads, Alun Dobson, who is headteacher at Marwood School, said: "Staff across the county have been really willing to do their bit. Many schools are opening independently to respond to the needs of parents. Others are acting collegiately to provide care and support in a central location.

"Many of those that remain closed at the moment have not had any demand from families but are on alert if they do. A number of families had already booked holidays for the Easter break and, although they haven't been able to go away, have remained home with their children.

"However we stand ready to do our bit over the next few weeks whatever happens. The Government is clear that schools should only be used for the children of key workers when they can't be cared for at home.

"We have worked closely with Devon County Council to ensure we can play our part and the staff have been amazing as we prepare for whatever is to come."

Matthew Shanks, executive principal of Education South West and chair of the Devon Association of Secondary Heads, said: "Leaders of all schools have come together to support our key workers. We are in daily touch across primary, secondary and special schools with Devon County Council to ensure a coordinated approach.

"As well as ensuring schools remain open, we have also donated personal protective equipment to hospitals across Devon and, working together, we will ensure we get through this very difficult time."

Devon's Head of Education and Learning, Dawn Stabb, said: "I want to thank heads, teachers and school staff for the way they have worked alongside the Local Authority to respond to this fast-moving crisis.

"It means that the people we depend on - in the NHS, our care staff and all the other critical workers, such as our own school staff - can go about their vital business knowing that their children are being well looked after."

 

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