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Suffolk thanks teachers and school staff during coronavirus crisis

PUBLISHED: 16:48 27 March 2020 | UPDATED: 16:49 27 March 2020

Mrs Welsh and Harper showing what they made to be displayed outside their school Picture: ST MARYS C OF E PRIMARY SCHOOL

Mrs Welsh and Harper showing what they made to be displayed outside their school Picture: ST MARYS C OF E PRIMARY SCHOOL

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A huge thank you has been expressed to teachers and school staff across Suffolk while they care for the children of key workers leading the country’s battle against coronavirus.

Children at St Joseph's Catholic Primary School in Sudbury have been taking part in Joe Wick's daily PE classes to keep fit during the coronavirus crisis  Picture: ST JOSEPH'S CATHOLIC PRIMARY SCHOOLChildren at St Joseph's Catholic Primary School in Sudbury have been taking part in Joe Wick's daily PE classes to keep fit during the coronavirus crisis Picture: ST JOSEPH'S CATHOLIC PRIMARY SCHOOL

Schools across the country closed their doors to the majority of pupils at the end of Friday, March 20, as the government looked to halt the spread of the virus.

But the schools continue to play a vital role in the nation’s fight to carry on – by being a place of care for the vulnerable children and those whose parents are key workers, such as doctors and nurses.

MORE: Meet the heroes on the frontline for Suffolk’s NHS trusts

Nigel Burgoyne, headteacher of Kesgrave High School, said the school is staffed on a rota basis and will remain open throughout the Easter holidays, except for a planned deep clean.

Kesgrave High School head Nigel Burgoyne said the school is caring for up to 30 pupils a day during the coronavirus pandemic  Picture: SU ANDERSONKesgrave High School head Nigel Burgoyne said the school is caring for up to 30 pupils a day during the coronavirus pandemic Picture: SU ANDERSON

Mr Burgoyne added: “We have a group of 25 to 30 pupils attending daily, with a range of online and in school activities, including safe, active sessions of physical activity during the day.

“As always, our staff have been amazing in supporting students in school and online during these unprecedented times.”

The exact number of children still attending schools has not yet been made available from the Department for Education, although some schools have claimed to have as few as four children coming through their doors.

MORE: Follow all of our coronavirus news here

Stephen Chamberlain, CEO of the Active Learning Trust, which operates Sidegate Primary, Gusford Primary, Hillside Primary and Chantry Academy in Ipswich, said he has been inspired by the work of teachers, parents, children and their communities.

Mr Chamberlain said: “I just want to say a big thank you to our teaching and support staff at our 21 schools across the east of England, who are doing a fantastic job supporting our NHS and key workers by keeping schools open and providing for some of the most vulnerable children in the country.

“I have never been more proud to be a teacher.”

MORE: Keep up with the latest coronavirus updates in our Facebook group

Mary Evans, cabinet member for children’s services, education and skills at Suffolk County Council, added: “I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to school leaders and staff including early years settings, who are working so hard in these challenging times to enable schools and settings across Suffolk to open their doors.

“I would also like to thank partners from across the education sector who are working together to find the best solutions for all pupils, especially the most vulnerable.”

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