This afternoon, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge videocalled a Primary School in Lancashire to thank the teachers and school staff for their dedication during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The school has remained open as a hub for the five local academies that are part of the Pendle Education Trust. Located near Burnley General Hospital, the academies have a high percentage of children whose parents are keyworkers, so during the Easter Holidays the school has remained open for the children of key workers and vulnerable children. On the call, The Duchess said:
“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.”
Their Royal Highnesses also heard about the difficulties schools, staff and children are facing as well as the extraordinary measures the school is taking to help pupils and their families, including food deliveries and mental health support.
Children from across the Trust have been taking part in Easter crafting activities during the holiday period and on the call, proudly showed The Duke and Duchess what they had been making – including portraits of their key worker parents.
Casterton Primary Academy and the other schools in the Pendle Education Trust have been supported by Heads Together charity partner, Place2Be for the past 10 years. The Duke and Duchess spoke to Place2Be’s School Project Manager, dedicated to Casterton Primary, whose role is to support the emotional wellbeing of children, parents and staff.
Throughout this challenging time, Place2Be, of which The Duchess is patron, have continued to support school communities across the UK. They are adapting their model of school-based support and have been providing phone ‘check ins’ for young people and parents of younger children where pupils are not in school.Click here to read more about Place2Be
“We just want to say a huge thank you to you guys and well done in keeping it all going. Please pass on many messages of support for all the staff and all the volunteers – they’re doing a great job.”
The Duke of Cambridge