Cllr Anntoinette Bramble, Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Education, Young People and Children’s Social Care, writes as pupils across Hackney prepare to return to school for the new school year:
As young people and their families prepare to go back to school this week, we know that many of you may be feeling anxious or have questions about what to expect and how to keep safe.
The last six months have been strange and challenging for all of us, with our routines and normal life greatly altered due to the impact of coronavirus. Many of you haven’t been to school since March, and while teachers, families and friends have supported you to learn from home, it’s not been the same as being in the classroom with your friends and teachers.
We’ve been so impressed with the resilience Hackney’s young people have shown. We’ve heard about your online lessons, the imaginative ways you’ve stayed in touch with each other during lockdown and the incredible ways many of you supported others in your community. You showed the Hackney Spirit we’re all so proud of!
Now it’s time for you to go back to school. Teachers are looking forward to welcoming you back, and the Council has been working with them to make sure things are safe and that you feel comfortable and happy being back in the classroom.
The Council has been working with all of our schools to support them in doing everything they can to keep pupils, families and staff safe, while making sure you can enjoy your time back at school.
Your safety and wellbeing is your teachers’ top priority, and things will be a bit different when you return to school and college for the new academic year. The steps each school has taken will be slightly different, depending on their size, the building, and how many pupils there are. Things like how you get around your school, the organisation of timetables and arrangements for breaks and lunch are likely to have changed.
Your school will share these changes with you and will be happy to answer any questions you may have.
We’re looking forward to seeing pupils returning to school, not only to help get your education and learning back on track, but also for your wellbeing and all of the social aspects of being at school. We wish you a happy return and hope you enjoy spending time with your friends, classmates and teachers again.
For more information, advice on what to expect when you return to school and where to get support and advice, read the Back to School supplement in the current issue of Hackney Life.
Cllr Anntoinette Bramble