The efforts of teachers and childcare providers across Lichfield and Burntwood during the coronavirus lockdown have been hailed by the county’s education chief.

Although schools and colleges have closed to most pupils, they have remained open for children of key workers.

Across Staffordshire, around 2% – around 2,500 youngsters – have been attending during the lockdown.

Cllr Philip White, Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet member for learning and employability, said the county owed education and childcare workers a huge thank you for their efforts.

“Schools, colleges and pre-school childcare places are continuing to provide essential support to those who need it.

“Thanks to the dedication of the people who are making it possible, key workers can continue to support the NHS, emergency services and other frontline roles supporting critical services.”

Cllr Philip White, Staffordshire County Council

Government guidance is that places are restricted to the children of employees in key industries when they are working and vulnerable youngsters .

“Clearly this is an evolving situation and everyone has worked tremendously hard to get the new arrangements in place.

“We’re in regular contact with bus companies and food suppliers and we’re trying to maintain school crossing patrols where possible, so I’d thank them too for making this happen.

“Every worker we can keep supporting frontline services is a huge step in the right direction for Staffordshire’s fight against coronavirus.”

Cllr Philip White, Staffordshire County Council

Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.

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8 Comments

  1. Sorry, what are we thanking? People doing their jobs?
    How about hailing the effort of thousands of parents who are trying to entertain, support and feed their children WHILST holding down a full time job.

  2. I think we’re thanking a group of people who’s jobs are putting themselves at increased risk of catching COVID, many of whom are really worried about it.

    Darryl what’s happened to you? You’re not usually so negative.

  3. These are exceptional circumstances. Naturally people respond accordingly. There are so many situations totally beyond our experience and it is difficult to adjust. The unknown regarding the length of time and the final outcome is very uncomfortable for all.
    I am grateful for all those helping us in the health service. At time of greatest need they have to step up to the plate. Many others are giving unheralded help and, as always, display an altruistic presence behind the scenes.
    It will end. Hopefully, in a few months this will be just a dreadful memory. Hang on in there and, to all doing their bit both at home and in the community, just THANKS.
    It would be nice if the honours list really recognised the true hero’s both now and in the future.

  4. I apologise, it’s been a bad day, we’ve had tears and not just from the children, the house has been turned upside down because I’ve not been able to keep an eye on the kids due to several conference calls today, it has been extremely stressful, made more so that I do not want to be shouting at them all the time, they are bored too.
    The decision by the kids local school to decline my wife’s “key worker” status because I’m not one, is particularly aggravating and the advice that I can look after the children 5 days a week is insulting to me and my work.
    It seems we’re suffering because the kids school has been less than proactive in arranging sessions coupled with other schools in the local area, to pool resources, which is odd as they opted for academy status at the end of last year to join an academy of significant size.
    I’m sure we will get through this, as you say Philip, I do wonder what the cost will be to children’s education, well-being and health.
    I agree that those teachers are meeting with other children and taking on a risk, but I cannot see how that risk isn’t manageable with good hygiene and the advised distancing, I feel that this lock-down scenario is a hammer to crack a nut, that’s not to trivialise people getting ill and there have been unfortunate cases of people not being sensible and getting together in groups, but it such draconian laws to implement rather than enforcing social distancing first, which I believe has been shown in the actions taken by the police recently, with heavy criticism from rights lawyers.
    Bit of a ramble and I’m sure we’ll have other articles on this issue.

  5. Some interesting comments here. I for one would like to see more of this. It does give a good insight into how others are coping with this current crisis. I have made a few comment myself recently and I urge other readers to contribute.

  6. The difficulty is that schools are virus factories (to quote various virologists). There is anticipated to be a surge or second wave in September, when there is normally a surge in infections. So keeping schools at a minimum is a no-brained in general. Local state schools are prioritising but independents, free schools and academies can pursue their own policies. Staffing is an issue as many non-teaching staff take part-time work due to disability or poor health yet these are often leant upon in primary schools. It’s a complex situation, but many seem to be underestimating the gravity of the issue; people are dying in horrible circumstances and our problems are nothing in comparison. FYI my daughter is quite ill having contracted COVID19 in QMC Nottingham ICU with no protective gear available; I got mine in secondary school where a ski trip returned from Italy with no testing.

  7. It is a complex situation John. It is not known yet how long the immunity will last for those who have already had the disease. And further, until a reservoir of immune people are built in an area, the infections will go on. The present measures are only a levelling out process to alleviate pressure on the NHS.
    As a crude estimation, the Lichfield constituency has about one hundred thousand people. It would need at least thirty thousand to have been infected (or hopefully immunised) before the infective rate
    was more containable.
    This is a rare virus which has crossed animal species. The Chinese want hanging up by their noodles. It was recognised by the WHO quite quickly just how dangerous it might be.
    Without an effective vaccine the prospects are it might be around for some time. On a positive note, there is great incentive to produce a vaccine. Not all viruses have a totally effective vaccine. Let’s hope Covid 19 is not one of them!

  8. John…. I am sorry not to have acknowledged the infection your daughter contracted while caring for others. A more noble cause, when you know you are in danger, is hard to imagine. I wish her well and a speedy recovery.

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