The school shutdown caused by coronavirus will not mean one long holiday

Schools may be closing but that doesn't mean an end to lessons.

Thursday, 19th March 2020, 2:10 pm
Updated Thursday, 19th March 2020, 2:10 pm
schools are being forced to close and exams halted

That's the message from headteachers as action-plans are put into place to make sure their pupils' education doesn't suffer.

Schools across Lancashire, Blackpool and the Fylde are still waiting to find out which vulnerable children and those from key workers' families will need to attend school. But, say there is still confusion as to who will qualify

Measures are being putting in place to cater for those entitled to free school meals.

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However, for those not in school or college work packs and online lessons have been drawn up, with those who need it being provided with the necessary technology.

The Fylde Coast Academy Trust, which runs 10 schools across Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre, including Garstang, thousands of carrier bags full of work are being handed out to pupils.

Heads plan to keep all the schools open to varying degrees but, said spokesman John Topping, we are still waiting for government guidance."

He added that the Trust was working with local councils and catering providers to put together a package for those youngsters on free school meals.

Mr Topping added: "Schools are providing work packs toe ensure the pupils continue to do something useful during this time, as per their usual school timetables either online or other suitable things like projects.

"We have set up web rooms between departments so that children can tap into them to send their homework or get feedback.

Schools have already established who has got access to what equipment and in some cases we will provide it."

In other areas schools are pooling resources.

Tarleton Community Primary hopes its plan for a hub will be replicated in surrounding areas.

Headteacher Chris Upton said: " "We are doing it for our local area but working with partner clusters so that similar hubs are set up in strategic areas across the county, for example Leyland, Ormskirk, Lostock Hall and Penwortham.

"Other schools are sending me staff lists so we will have an A, B and C team of staff so that if staff get unwell we can replace them whilst they get better and this is sustainable in keeping open to support key workers and the local community. We are all coming together as one big team!

"The hope is that our hub model will be in place across the county as we feel schools going alone risk having to shut down if staff have to isolate."