During what is traditionally the Easter holidays, The Duke and Duchess thanked teachers and school staff across the country who, due to Covid-19, are dedicating their time to keeping schools open for the children of key workers and vulnerable children.
They spoke with staff and children at Castleton Primary Academy, a Place2Be partner school, which is located close to Burnley General Hospital and has a high percentage of children whose parents are key workers. The school has remained open as a hub for five academies in the surrounding area that are part of the Pendle Education Trust.
The Duke and Duchess spoke with a School Project Manager from children’s mental health charity Place2Be, which has worked with schools in the Pendle Education Trust for 10 years, supporting the emotional wellbeing of children, parents and staff. The charity continues to support school communities across the UK at this challenging time, adapting its usual model of school-based support by providing phone ‘check ins’ for young people and parents of younger children where pupils are not in school.
“Well done honestly to you and everyone who’s in during this time. It must be such a relief
for all the parents who are key workers to know that the normality is there for their children –
they’ve got the structure and they’ve got a safe place for them to be, so really really well
done to all of you.” – The Duchess of Cambridge
During the call, children also showed The Duke and Duchess some crafts they made during the Easter crafting activities sessions, and several children also showed them portraits of their key worker parents and explained why they were proud of them.
Speaking to school staff, The Duke and Duchess heard about the difficulties that schools, staff and children are facing, as well as the extraordinary measures that the school is taking to help pupils and their families, including food deliveries and mental health provision. The trust is providing meal vouchers for Free School Meals families, which makes up 25% of all the families in the Trust.