Providing packages of support to our students and their families during this time of crisis as a result of Covid-19.
Paxton Academy Sport and Science is a primary school in Thornton Heath which is part of the Wandle Learning Trust. The school's children from reception to Year 5 have coped admirably over the last 6 years with not only temporary accommodation and a lack of outdoor space, but also with a change in leadership. They were all looking forward to moving into their new facilities this summer and enjoying the space and facilities that it would provide. Instead, the vast majority are now being schooled at home; many in flats with no gardens, but this is just the tip of the iceberg.
50% of Paxton's students live in households that can be described as within the top 25% most deprived in the UK (94% are within the top 50% most deprived in the UK) and 62% are in receipt of Free School Meals. Many were living on the breadline before Covid-19 struck - but now they are in far worse positions. Parents have lost employment on zero hours contracts, food and utility bills have increased with the children at home all day, every day and many students, especially those with SEN (which is 14% of the student population), are struggling with a lack of stimulation, expertise and equipment that would normally offer them assistance with their learning. Although schooling is being offered to some vulnerable families, many are frightened to take this up and put themselves at risk of the virus.
One family of 5 consists of a single working mum and 4 children. Mum cannot work with her children at home so she is struggling to provide 3 meals a day and pay the utility bills. They all live in a 2-bedroom flat. Two of the children have significant educational needs and the entire family only have one technology device to enable them to access home learning!
Another family, with 5 children, is currently living in temporary accommodation in a two bedroom hotel room. They do not have permission to work in the UK, due to their residency status, and have limited spoken English, reading and writing skills. So limiting the external support they are able to engage with. Their children can speak English but again, they only have access to one device.
These are just 2 examples of the families we want to help with Paxton Parcels.
We wish to provide them with parcels to help them through these times. Each one will be different depending on the needs of the families but will contain items that will provide help in more than one way - the following are examples of what may be included:
- Food supplies to provide at least one hot meal per day and more cold meals for the families
- Technology devices to enable better access to remote learning
- Specialist equipment for sports and crafts for SEN students
- Books to enable the students to progress in their reading
We are fundraising to ensure that we can reach as many of our families as possible. We want them to have the best possible chance of coming out of this difficult period healthy and able to continue with schooling. Any funds that are left over will be utilised for students in need when the school returns.
Please help if you can!