Vulnerable children and the sons and daughters of essential key workers are still able to attend school during the coronavirus emergency, with all schools across the city supporting other parents and carers to continue their child's learning journey at home.
A total of 81 of Wolverhampton's primary, secondary, special, independent and free schools – and 49 childcare settings – welcomed 1,056 different children last week, including 817 children of key worker parents.
Overall 1.3% of pupils on roll attended school schools and settings last week, just above the national average of 0.9%.
For the vast majority of pupils unable to attend school at this time, the schools themselves are working hard to provide home learning packs and giving parents links to online resources which can help them to home educate.
Meanwhile, nearly all pupils who are eligible for free school meals are continuing to receive them, with schools reporting uptake rates of over 90%.
The council is also ensuring the most vulnerable children have access to laptops so they can continue learning at home, with nearly 1,000 laptops being sourced for children who are being supported by a social worker, and over 100 provided for disadvantaged pupils in Year 10.
Councillor Dr Michael Hardacre, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said: "The response from our schools to the coronavirus pandemic has been exceptional – as we always knew it would be – and I would like to place on record my thanks, and that of the council, to our city’s children, families, school leaders, teachers and everyone working in the education sector for their incredible efforts so far and in the weeks ahead.
“As a council, we are doing all we can to support our schools at this time, and to ensure our most vulnerable pupils are able to continue to learn by providing laptops as required.
“It’s important to stress that children should only attend school if they absolutely need to – that is, if their parents are critical workers who need to be involved in the national effort around coronavirus, or if the children themselves are going to be safer in, rather than out of, school.
“For the vast majority of families, sending their child to school at this time is not an option and I take my hat off to them; they are doing an incredible job of continuing their child's learning journey – often in very difficult circumstances, such as if they are trying to work from home at the same time.”
According to latest figures, 87% of schools in Wolverhampton are now rated either Good or Outstanding. To find out more about education in Wolverhampton, please visit Education and Schools.
The latest information and guidance around coronavirus is available at GOV.UK and on the council’s own coronavirus pages at Coronavirus advice and information. There’s lots of advice on how people can protect themselves and their families from coronavirus from the NHS.
The council’s Stay Safe, Be Kind campaign offers clear and simple advice about how people can help themselves, and how they can support others who may be particularly vulnerable at this time. For more information, please visit Stay Safe Be Kind.