20 surreylive.news NEWS & MAIL WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 2, 2020 Safety for all will be the priority It’s vital that young people return to school and college for their educational progress, mental wellbeing and wider development. This means that attendance is mandatory from the beginning of the new school year. For over-16s, attendance is important, as if a student doesn’t turn up their college may believe they’ve left the course. Schools and colleges have put in a raft of measures to keep pupils and staff safe. These include staggered start and finish times and lunch breaks, one-way systems, extra cleaning and encouraging regular handwashing. With younger children, where it’s difficult to maintain social distancing, contact between groups or “bubbles” will be limited. This means things will look a little different, so if parents or young people are anxious or worried about returning, they should talk to the teachers. Parents with younger children are encouraged to take up nursery places because it provides a routine and helps them develop their social skills. The Government offers a wide range of financial support for families with children aged up to 11, including Tax-Free Childcare worth up to £2,000 per child per year. You can also apply for a 30 hours childcare place before August 31. Find out more here: childcarechoices.gov.uk NAILING IT Chloe gives the talon treatment pre-lockdown SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES ARE READY TO WELCOME PUPILS BACK SAFELY – AND THE BENEFITS TO THEIR WELLBEING AND MENTAL HEALTH ARE HUGE I returning students. “If you came into my campuses you’d see the one-way system, the sanitisers, the counselling service and the ability for us to check temperatures,” he says. “But behind all that are the individual learning plans for each student. That’s where the crucial planning really takes place. “We’ve increased the number of mental-health advisors and support workers, and we’ve put a massive investment into all levels of additional learning support at tutorial l e v el , mentoring and one-toone teaching. “I’ve doubled the amount of cleaners in the college too – I need to be assured that everything we do is protecting everyone.” And parents like Clare Rushforth, mum to 11-year-old Lily, are grateful for the efforts schools have gone to with safety measures – especially with the t’s the start of a new term, and time for children across the country to return to nursery, school or college. Many parents, pupils and teachers are excited to get back into the routine and, although it’s understandable to have a few worries, the advantages of going back into education are clear. Not only will pupils be learning again, but they’ll benefit from a sense of routine, the chance to see their friends and a boost to their wellbeing. With new safety measures in place, things won’t look quite the same, but pupils will be guaranteed plenty of support from their teachers. Dr Paul Phillips CBE, the principal and chief e xe c utiv e of the Weston College Group in Somerset, is one of many leaders who has worked hard to make the learning environment a safe and welcoming one for Ben-Ari beli e v e s t hey ’ l l catch up quickly, and getting back into the classroom will help them in other ways too. “I’m not worried about the academic gap, because I think kids will soon pick up. But it’s starting to affect their mental health, so it’s good that they will be back in school from September,” she explains. “Children are not designed to sit down all day. They need to be out in the fresh air and moving their bodies. It’s so important for young people of all ages to communicate with their friends face to face. “During lockdown, kids at home have been spending a long time on screens while parents are working, and about to move from primary to high school. “They’ve got good hand-washing rules, and have put additional cleaning measures in place,” she says. “It’s quite a large school, but they’ve managed it so well, and their communication with parents has been amazing. They treat their students very much like their own children, and I’ve got faith that the school will keep everyone as safe as possible. “Children need their education, to get back to learning and to get back into a routine,” she adds. Home schooling hasn’t been easy and many parents are worried that their children have fallen behind, but parenting expert and author Dr Kalanit If I have any worries we are all helping each other CHLOE WILLIAMS I need to be sure everything we do is protecting everyone DR PAUL PHILLIPS PRINTED AND DISTRIBUTED BY PRESSREADER PressReader.com +1 604 278 4604 . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY ORIGINAL COPY COPYRIGHT AND PROTECTED BY APPLICABLE LAW
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