Phased reopening of some schools and nurseries from 1 June
Following Government guidance about a phased return of more pupils to schools from Monday 1 June onwards, the Council, our local Public Health team and Camden Learning have been in close discussion with our headteachers and local union representatives about how best to provide a safe learning and working environment for when more pupils return.
Schools or nurseries which are more fully reopening from 1 June onwards should have been in touch with their parents directly. There is some more general information for parents here:
- Statement on reopening of schools in Camden from Cllr Angela Mason, the Council's Cabinet Member for Best Start for Children and Families
- Children returning to school - health information for parents (leaflet)
Since schools were asked to close on 20 March to most pupils, they have been making provision for:
- the children of key workers, including health service staff and the police. This is where they have no other option than attend school.
- the most vulnerable children. This includes those who have a social worker and those with education, health and care plans.
Nurseries and private schools were asked to do the same.
- Government’s information for parents and carers on closures of educational settings
- Key worker childcare and Camden early years services update - 7/4/20
Free school meals
We are working to ensure that no one in the borough goes hungry as a result of COVID-19. This includes children entitled to free school meals. The Government has said children eligible for free school meals will be offered meals or vouchers as an alternative.
Alongside that plan, the Council will offer a food parcel scheme for those entitled to free school meals. Parents and carers can collect the food parcels once a fortnight. Arrangements are being shared with schools directly about how they can be collected.
Children attending school, whether vulnerable or the children of key workers, are currently being given food on site. This is whether they are entitled to free school meals or not.
Exams will not take place as planned in May and June. The Government announced on 20 March further details of how students will be able to gain the qualifications they need.
The Government has also announced that a range of assessments and tests for nursery and primary pupils will also not now take place as planned. This includes end of Key Stage One and Key Stage Two assessments and tests.
Support and advice for children and young people
- Poster / flyer aimed at children and young people (PDF)
- Guidance for young people (PDF)
- Online activities and support on Camden Rise website
Childline has created a new web page with information for children and young people about coronavirus. The page includes information about: what coronavirus is, where children and young people can find help if they are worried, coping if they are staying at home and what to do if they are feeling unwell.
Young people can visit these 'Keep calm, stay connected, be safe' web pages.
Children and young people's mental health charity, Young Minds, has also produced this blog: What to do if you’re anxious about coronavirus
Support for families – Early Help check-in service
Our Camden Family Early Help team is offering a ‘family check-in' service whilst schools are closed. This is to give extra help to children and families who may be more vulnerable during this time. Our teams will make sure families have access to essentials, such as food, medicine and supplies, and connecting them to those who can help, if needed.
To request an Early Help family check-in, please fill in this online form.
Family health and wellbeing
Taking care of our health, and the health of our families, is particularly important at this challenging time. We may need to be creative in order to get our daily exercise, eat well and maintain emotional health and wellbeing.
It’s important to stay connected through phone, post or online, and to seek help if you’re feeling anxious or are struggling to cope. The Government advice is to stay at home to help fight the spread of COVID-19, but make sure you’re still getting regular exercise. This could be through online or indoor activities, or going outside for one form of exercise a day. Try to eat healthily and be mindful of snacking. Remember, frozen and tinned fruit and vegetables count towards your five-a-day and a healthy diet will help your mood and energy.
The Camden Health and Wellbeing Team is offering telephone and online advice sessions:
- ‘Starting Solids’ - support for parents/carers in introducing solid foods from 6 months
- ‘Starting Solids: Next Steps’ - support for parents/carers who have started their baby on solid foods but need some support
- ‘Families for Life, Early Years’ - healthy lifestyle sessions for families with children under five. These can be booked online here
- ‘Families for Life, Primary’ – healthy lifestyle sessions for families with children aged five to 11 years old, which can be booked by ringing or emailing the team with the details below.
If you would like more support, please contact the team at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 7974 6736.
Here are some helpful websites for keeping the whole family healthy:
The Brandon Centre has also produced this really useful guide for families, packed with advice and resources to help parents in Camden during the COVID-19 crisis:
Children with special educational needs and disabilities
We’ve put together information here for those with special educational needs and disabilities. We hope this will be helpful for these families, children, young people and those working with them.
Camden youth centres
Camden youth service is following government guidance around social gathering and has closed all our youth projects until further notice.
We have contacted young people who use our services. We have let them know how to access support and advice from their youth workers and Connexions personal advisers, who can be still be contacted to provide information and guidance.
A Camden youth service helpline, 020 7974 6200, is also available for young people aged 13 to 19 on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 2 to 5pm, offering advice on a wide range of services, including Careers and Connexions, general advice and support from youth workers, youth offending service, drugs or alcohol (FWD substance misuse service).
After-school and holiday play schemes
Play providers linked to Camden primary schools shut on 20 March until further notice. This is in line with government guidance on preventing the spread of COVID-19.
Children’s social care
Formal children’s safeguarding meetings are all now being done via Skype / virtually, where meetings can go ahead. Children at risk of harm will still be visited at home where concerns mean a visit is considered necessary.
Please check the Camden Children’s Safeguarding Partnership website for information.
Department for Education helpline
Contact the Department for Education coronavirus helpline on 0800 046 8687. Lines are open Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm.
Local contact email address for public health advice
If your enquiry cannot easily be answered using national guidance or by contacting the Department for Education coronavirus helpline - 0800 046 8687 - please email them your enquiry.