The Conservative Councillor Group on Richmond Council have been asking parents what their views and concerns are as schools begin to re-open following the Coronavirus pandemic lock down. A small initial survey of parents shows that 90% of parents wanted their child to return to school as soon as possible. Just over half of parents who responded stated that they wanted an increased effort from the Council to find additional space to be used as classrooms, to enable more children to return to education.
The views expressed highlight that parents need to be a part of this process. The Conservative group are urging the council to seek the views of parents and where necessary assist local schools to enable children to return to their education as soon as practically possible.
Cllr Gemma Curran, Conservative spokesperson for Education on Richmond Council says "All children's education is extremely important, and schools also play a vital role in children's socialising, safeguarding, mental wellbeing and overall development. Education is vital and as a group we are concerned that children are missing out. Parents need a voice and now is the time that the Council needs to be consulting on solutions to ensure that all children can be back in school in September.”
Hampton North Cllr Kate Howard, stated: “This Council has received additional money from the government to support activities related to COVID, yet still we have parents unable to send their children back to school because of a lack of action over finding suitable additional space. As both a parent and grandparent I understand how vital education is for all our children. My elder grandson, 15 isn’t going back till September and my other grandson, 9 years old is only on two days a week in Primary school. Is it this the Council or the teachers Union who are stopping their education? The Conservatives really hope that, this Council will listen to parents as we have done and move quickly to rectify the situation”.
The Richmond Borough Conservative Councillor Group have written to Cllr Penny Frost, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services and Schools, urging her to hear the views of local parents.