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Coronavirus: Suffolk schools provider urges pupils and parents to maintain learning routines

A Suffolk schools provider has urged pupils and parents to maintain learning routines when schools close tomorrow.

The Unity Schools Partnership has 25 secondary, primary and special schools across Suffolk and Romford including Sybil Andrews Academy and Abbots Green Academy in Bury St Edmunds.

All schools in England are to close this Friday except to those children whose parents are key workers such as NHS staff, police and delivery drivers who 'need to be able to go to work' and children who are 'most vulnerable'.

Sybil Andrews Academy in Bury St Edmunds
Sybil Andrews Academy in Bury St Edmunds

In a statement, the Unity Schools Partnership said: "The family of secondary, primary and special schools within Unity Schools Partnership will do all we can to continue to support the learning of our pupils.

"Each school will provide work and explain how pupils can, where possible, keep in touch with their teachers about the work they are doing.

"We recommend that during term time pupils keep to a similar routine as when they come to school.

"It will be a different way of working from what they are accustomed, but we expect all pupils to focus on their learning for significant periods each day.

"Each school will help explain how best to do this and they will be pleased to hear back from pupils about how they are getting on and what they have completed.

"Unless school staff are unwell, they will be continuing during term time to work and support their pupils.

"Schools will provide parents with details of how to contact the school. Schools will send families regular updates too.

"Parents whose children are entitled to a free school meal will be contacted to provide a voucher during term time for the value of the meal that would have been provided in school.

"The Department for Education has said that there will shortly be a national voucher scheme.

"We are very disappointed for those students in Years 11 and 13 who were approaching their exams this summer as these will not take place.

"We will be fully cooperating with the exam boards to ensure they receive the exam grades they deserve and to help ensure they are able to go on successfully to the next stage of their education and life.

"We know too that teachers and children will be disappointed not to take their Year 6 SATs and have the due recognition for the huge amount of work they have done preparing for these tests.

"We applaud the Government’s decision that children of key workers and vulnerable children will continue to attend school.

"We understand that examples of key workers include NHS staff, police and delivery drivers who need to be able to go to work, and we look forward to the term ‘key worker’ being defined further.

"Vulnerable children include those who have a social worker and those with Education, Health and Care Plans.

"We will work closely with the local authorities where schools are situated and with our neighbouring schools to provide the best education we can.

"This will include, where possible, keeping schools open for these children throughout the Easter holidays. We will also be ensuring all staff get a break too.

"School staff have the same anxieties for their health and their families as everyone else.

"The trust recognises with pride their commitment to the children and young people in their schools - and that this requires juggling commitments at work and in their own lives."

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