Acknowledging their commitment, flexibility and resilience, Councillor Murphy said: “I’d like to say a big thank you to all our early years providers, schools and colleges for trying their best to restore normality during what is such an uncertain time.
“They have been resourceful in their use of remote and engaging learning activities – some even creating celebration assemblies, virtual tours of zoos and famous landmarks – while not letting important awareness events like World Autism Day recently go by unnoticed.
“They have networked to ensure that, should one school be forced to close, another will step in and provide a resource base for pupils in that locality – and have gone out of their way to ensure that the children of our key workers can receive quality care over the Easter break – including bank holidays – while their parents carry out their duties. In response to demand for places for Early Years provision, we have even set up two emergency creche facilities for the young children of those key workers.
“They have shown particular care to those who need a little extra support – delivering free school meals, phoning to check that all is well and maintaining a sense of community spirit despite the constraints of social isolation.
“Of course we must also thank our young people who – despite being anxious and concerned for their families – have shown tremendous resilience. they have responded to the challenges set by their teachers, attended school when they would normally be on holiday and have shown their creativity, brightening the neighbourhoods with rainbows and messages of thanks to those who are working so hard to protect and support us all.
“It’s moments like when our school family really does us proud in coming together to ease pressures during such difficult situations.”