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Coronavirus: Unity Schools Partnership considers working with other schools to create 'educational hubs'

A Suffolk schools provider is considering working with others to create educational hubs in communities in the wake of coronavirus.

The Unity Schools Partnership says it is 'digesting the list' of the 'key workers' who will still be able to send their children to school from Monday as well as the definition of 'vulnerable children'.

The provider has 25 schools in East Anglia and Romford including Sybil Andrews Academy and Abbots Green Academy in Bury St Edmunds as well as Samuel Ward Academy in Haverhill.

Dr Tim Coulson. (32044726)
Dr Tim Coulson. (32044726)

In a statement praising staff, chief executive Tim Coulson said: "Education as we know it, as with the rest of the country, is changing before our eyes. But our schools and your children’s education will go on.

"It will be different, it will be a little daunting at times, but rest assured our amazing school staff will be there for you.

"As always, they want to share with you your child’s achievements and highlights and equally be there when you most need support.

Sybil Andrews Academy in Bury St Edmunds. Picture by Mecha Morton
Sybil Andrews Academy in Bury St Edmunds. Picture by Mecha Morton

"The very same support will be shown to all our staff across our 25 schools in East Anglia and Romford. These are challenging times, but they will receive all the support they need from everyone connected with Unity Schools Partnership.

"Do we have all the answers yet? We are now digesting the list of Government ‘key workers’ and the definition of ‘vulnerable children’.

"We will be opening schools on Monday, but we will not know an exact number of children until they arrive in the morning.

"Rest assured, teachers will be there and safeguarding, food and first aid provision will be in place, as you would expect.

"For the vast majority of children working from home, you would have already had discussions with teachers and plans have been put in pace for a more digital, remote way of learning."

On what happens after Monday, Mr Coulson added: "We will assess numbers of pupils still needing to attend school and we will work with neighbouring schools, in and out of the trust, to look at creating educational hubs in your community. This will be fully communicated every step of the way.

"These are uncertain times. We all have questions and fears.

"But we cannot underestimate the hard work that has gone on by each and every member of staff in your school, in your trust, to continue as much as possible over the last few days.

"As we enter this very strange day, I wanted to say a personal thank you to every single member of our trust.

"Your commitment and dedication to education has been incredible. Indeed, thank you doesn’t seem enough.

"I know it will continue in the weeks to come and I know we have the support of our parents, students and communities as we enter these unprecedented times.

"Please stay safe. Thank you all."

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