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Parents and guardians

StarLine is a helpline for parents during lockdown, run by qualified teachers and education experts. They have a weekly YouTube series, as well as a phone line open for enquiries 6 days a week. 

These are unprecedented times, and we appreciate that many of you will naturally be feeling anxious as you try to support your families educationally, financially and emotionally. We want to be able to support you as best we can through this pandemic, and hope that you will find the information on these pages useful.

Your child’s basic, educational, technological and psychological needs are of paramount importance to us. If you are particularly concerned about your child in any of these areas, then please get in contact with one of the team.

Remember that your child’s school is also here to support you, as well as (where applicable) the Royal SpringBoard representative at your partner organisation.

There could be support available near you through Next Door an online neighbourhood hub.

If there is anything you are particularly worried about which the resources on these pages don’t cover, and you feel that you need further support, please get in touch with one of the team and we will do our best to help.

Food

The Trussell Trust
The Trussell Trust is a nationwide network of food banks. They are able to provide 3-day emergency food supplies.

Visit their website to find a foodbank near you. 

Free School Meals
If your child is eligible for Free School Meals, then the school should continue to provide these meals during term time, even while schools are closed. Each school organises this differently: some might deliver, while others might provide you with supermarket vouchers.

If you think you are eligible for Free School Meals but are not currently receiving them, please contact the school.

If you are unable to get through to your child’s boarding school, then please approach your local state school. They might be able to help.

Other basic needs

Buttle UK provide grants to cover children’s basic needs, household essentials, and ‘staying connected’. They require applications to be made by a referrer, such as a social worker or member of staff at your child’s school. 

Glasspool provide one off grants for essential household furniture. They also require the application to come from a third party organisation on behalf of the family. 

You can use this website to find your nearest Covid-19 Mutual Aid group. 

The national charity Turn2Us helps you to check your benefits entitlement during the Covid-19 outbreak, and search for grants which may be able to help.

This government website explains your rights regarding benefits during the pandemic. You may be eligible to apply for Universal Credit now, even if you haven’t previously received it.

Citizens Advice provides clear guidance on what you should do regarding your health, your children, and your financial situation, during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Family Fund provide grants for families raising disabled or seriously ill children.

Ways to look after yourself

An organisation we work with, STEER, are offering Royal SpringBoard parents free access to their app for parents. This app helps you understand how you are reacting to the current challenging circumstances, and provides guidance on developing strategies to support yourself and your loved ones during this difficult time. Please get in touch if you would like to take advantage of this opportunity, and we will provide the discount code.

The NSPCC has a range of advice from coping with tantrums to supporting parents with SEND children during coronavirus. 

Gingerbread has advice for single parent families.

Family Lives has plenty of advice on how to cope practically and emotionally during lockdown. They include advice on managing conflict, anxieties and worries; planning the children’s day; and what to do if your child has SEN or a disability. 

Grandparents Plus provides information and advice for kinship carers.

The Mental Health Foundation provides up to date information about Covid-19 and how you can look after yourself. 

The World Health Organisation has advice on how to cope with stress during the pandemic. 

The Child Mind Institute has a range of resources to help you support your family.

See here the support for parents that Action for Children is able to provide.

Place2Be provides guidance on how to look after your own mental health during this time.

You can sign up for updates from the National Education Union for the latest news on how coronavirus is affecting schools and families, advice on key areas of concern, and suggested resources for activities. 

Physical wellbeing

Physical exercise is vital for maintaining mental wellbeing, particularly when we are stuck inside. Your child, used to being physically active at school, will be especially in need of some exercise. It doesn’t have to be much; even half an hour per day makes a difference. Here are a couple of suggestions for guided workouts.

Joe Wicks is a hugely popular fitness coach, who is streaming PE classes for children every weekday at 9am on his Youtube channel. He also has classes for adults.

The NHS has six 10-minute workouts which are designed to be done in your home.

Ways to support your child

We would encourage you to support your child in continuing their education whilst they are at home. They will of course have duties and responsibilities to carry out within the family, but will need your support in remaining engaged with their learning. This includes giving them the time and space to study. Can you organise a timetable so that some hours are set aside for them to study, and some are set aside for them to help in the house? Are you able to help them set up a place to study, even if it is just for certain hours in the day? These are just some suggestions; every family will find their own way of working. Let us know if there is anything we can do to support you in this regard.

UCAS held a Facebook Live event at the end of April to answer parents’ questions about how to support their children with university guidelines. You can view the webinar here.

Teen Tips have a range of online resources offering support and guidance during this period. 

This is a useful Covid-19 survival guide for parents of tweens and teens.

The World Health Organisation has advice on how to help children cope with stress during the pandemic.

The National Literacy Trust has a Family Zone with ideas for activities with children up to age 13. They signpost you to useful apps, websites and audio resources. 

The ‘Family Lockdown Tips & Ideas’ group on Facebook does what the name suggests: ideas for how to keep the family safe, happy and healthy whilst on lockdown.

The Tim Henman Foundation has some fun challenges for 5 - 11 year olds to do indoors.  You can film, share, post and challenge others with your best efforts #thfonline2020.

‘Think u know’ provide some useful guidance on eSafety in a world where your child will be increasingly online. They have designed packs for different age groups.

Parent Zone provide advice and guidance on digital family life, now more relevant than ever before.

Tes has created a collection of teacher-created learning resources grouped by subject help study outside of the usual classroom environment, to support parents and guardians with structuring and delivering home learning. All of these resources are completely free to download and use and include lessons, worksheets, workbooks and activities.