Tiny number of key workers' children turn up at Shropshire schools

A tiny number of key workers' children turned up at their schools across Shropshire today.

Dr Gill Eatough, executive principal and chief executive of the HLC Trust,
Dr Gill Eatough, executive principal and chief executive of the HLC Trust,

Schools are only opening for these youngsters and vulnerable pupils in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Head teachers today praised parents for heeding the plea to send their children in only if there were no where else they could be looked after.

They also praised staff for stepping-up to support the new system, from being on rotas to oversee those in school to setting online work plans for their students.

The Learning Community Trust (LCT) has six schools and 4,000 primary and secondary children under its wing.

Today only around 100 arrived at their respective schools, HLC secondary and primary, Ercall Wood Technology College, The Charlton School, Queensway and Wrekin View Primary.

Dr Gill Eatough, executive principal and chief executive of the trust, said: "Parents have heeded the advice only to send their children if absolutely necessary.

"We had expected more and had brought the necessary number of staff in. Now we are sending home some of those staff.

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"It has been a huge team effort by all staff to put these unprecedented measures in place. We have an excellent IT system to make it much easier for pupils to carry out home learning and there are pastoral staff available for any worries they may have."

Meole Brace secondary school in Shrewsbury had been expecting about 80 students but only 15 arrived.

Headteacher Alan Doust, said it was no surprise as parents took on board the Government's advice.

"Our staff are on a rota to come in to oversee those children and their numbers can now be cut as the number of pupils is smaller that expected," he said.

"While with us, the pupils are doing the work set them by their respective teachers. But they will also be enjoying some sport and also things like design technology workshops."

At the Lakelands Academy, in Ellesmere, there were 51 pupils registered under the key worker scheme, with a dozen turning up.

Headteacher Sophy Bellis, said: "What’s emerging is that the picture will be different day to day, as parents are on or off shift. My hunch is that we will have 25-30 each day. We only have 12 here today, but that’s because a number were waiting to have their place confirmed and made a one-day only arrangement for the children to be elsewhere."

"I’ve been absolutely overwhelmed by the support I’ve received from the entire staff team from the start of this crisis. I couldn’t be more grateful to them or prouder of the team we have here."

At St Martins All Age School there were18 children in today, from nursery age up to about 13 years old.

A spokesman said this would increase as some parents were on shift patterns for later this week, adding: "Many critical workers with a parent at home have decided to socially distance and keep their children at home, which is following government advice."

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