The fantastic response of Somerset’s schools and education staff to the coronavirus emergency has been praised on a local and national level.
Schools, colleges and Early Years providers across the county are playing a vital role in keeping frontline services running as they remain open for the children of key workers and for vulnerable pupils.
Somerset County Council’s Director of Children’s Services has paid tribute to all those involved, on behalf of the local authority, while the Secretary of State for Education has also written to education providers to offer his “deepest gratitude” for their efforts, on behalf of the Prime Minister and the Government.
In his letter, Gavin Williamson said: “By maintaining school provision for those who need it most, leaders of our schools and colleges – and your staff – rightly take their place next to our NHS staff and other critical workers as central to our country’s efforts in battling this virus.”
The minister refers to “extraordinary examples” of leaders and staff “demonstrating true civic spirit in unparalleled circumstances”. He also highlights the work of staff in special schools making sure the most vulnerable pupils still have the crucial support they need, and he adds: “You are also the reason critical workers across the country and continue to deliver the crucial frontline services that are central to our national effort to tackle COVID-19.”
Director of Children’s Services Julian Wooster said: “We are asking our education providers to make a momentous effort during this crisis and they are rising to the challenge in a fantastic way – I am incredibly grateful to school leaders and their brilliant staff for their efforts, along with those working so hard in our Early Years provision. ”
Parkfield Primary School in Taunton is just one of hundreds of Somerset schools currently open for children of NHS staff, retail workers, delivery drivers and other key workers as well as a number of children with special educational needs and/or a disability.
Head Teacher Gareth Jones said: “‘We are proud to be able to offer provision to support key workers at this time of national need so they can continue to provide vital services for people of Somerset. Our Parkfield staff have been truly outstanding, showing care and compassion at this difficult time.
“The commitment, collaboration and creativity in terms of planning and provision in all our Somerset schools has been truly amazing.’
As well as providing 8 to 4 provision every day, the school, like most sites, will be open over the Easter holidays.
Submitted by Communications