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Thank you for everything you are doing for Royal SpringBoard pupils and their families during this uniquely difficult time. So much of what you do ordinarily revolves around seeing and spending time with your pupils; it is a huge adjustment to now supporting them exclusively remotely. Your checking in on them regularly will, we are sure, mean a great deal to them and their families. We are so grateful for everything you have done so far since schools have closed, and in turn want to be here to support you as best we can. 

Our five-point plan to support the whole Royal SpringBoard community during this pandemic is: 

  • Creating an online community for our stakeholders;
  • Assessing and responding to the needs of our pupils (basic, technological, psychological, educational);
  • Liaising with schools and partners (thank you all for your responsiveness so far); 
  • Addressing the identified needs in a bespoke manner;
  • Fundraising to meet additional technological, educational, and psychological needs.

In addition, we are hoping to host a virtual Partners Forum in May, to replace the once cancelled last month, and to provide an opportunity for you all to share best practice around supporting Royal SpringBoard pupils and their families during this pandemic.

We are keen, technology-permitting, to develop a dynamic space for partners to share best practice on a more regular basis. If in the meantime if you have any ideas, resources or inspiration on how best to support Royal SpringBoard pupils during this time, then do let us know and we will share it across our network. Please do also, where appropriate, direct any schools or families who approach you to the relevant pages on our website.


As you well know, Royal SpringBoard pupils are best supported when there is regular and open communication between us, you, the school, and the pupil’s guardians. Those communication channels are now more important than ever before. Please do continue to be open and honest with us about what you need from us; do also be in dialogue with the school about your joint plan to look out for and support each pupil remotely.

Things to consider

We have been filled with admiration for the way that you and our schools have already responded to this unprecedented challenge, and are positive that this will continue. 

We thought it might be useful for you to see the questions we have asked our schools to consider over the coming weeks and months with regards to Royal SpringBoard pupils, so that you also might bear them in mind:

  • Are our pupils’ basic, educational, technological and psychological needs being met?
  • What about pupils with SEN and/or who receive extra educational support whilst at school? Are they receiving help to meet these needs? How can learning be altered if these pupils struggle to sit at a computer screen all day?
  • What contact are you having with the pupils? How regularly?
  • Are pupils receiving support with their academic studies from their family? For example, is English spoken as an additional language in the home?
  • What pressures could pupils be facing at home? For example, are they acting as carer for parents or siblings; are there significant physical or mental health difficulties in the home; what struggles might the family be facing in terms of basic needs? How can the school support the pupil, practically or emotionally, if any of these are the case?


As you know, all Royal SpringBoard pupils who started at school in 2017 or later take the STEER AS Tracking assessment twice yearly. STEER is a precious resource in helping us to understand how our pupils might be responding to this international crisis, and how we can support them through it.

Where pupils were unable to take their spring assessment before schools closed, we are encouraging our schools to facilitate AS Tracking assessments remotely. Please speak to one of the Royal SpringBoard team if there is a pupil you are particularly concerned about, whom you want to take the assessment as a matter of urgency.

As always, you are welcome to get in touch with us if there is a pupil whose data you would like to discuss in more detail. In addition, from the start of the summer term, STEER are offering one-to-one pupil surgeries freely to all tutors. This is to help provide targeted messages for priority pupils, with specific steering biases, whilst at home. Please get in touch with us if you would like to utilise this opportunity.

We are currently fundraising to meet additional psychological needs which may arise during this period. If there is a pupil you are particularly concerned about as the weeks go on, then please do approach us and we will work together to explore what support we may be able to put in place.

Free school meals

If pupils are eligible for Free School Meals (FSM), then the Government expects that schools continue to provide those meals, during term time, while schools are closed. 

See here a useful article explaining the different ways that schools are finding to honour this obligation.

We are suggesting to schools that, in the absence of support provision, they get in touch with the pupil’s previous or local school, to discuss what might be possible regarding FSM.

Other resources

The Education Endowment Foundation published a guidance report in September which now seems particularly relevant, offering four key recommendations to schools and teachers on how to support parental engagement in children’s learning.

The NSPCC has advice on how to keep children safe while we are in lockdown. 

Place2Be provides guidance on how to support children who may be especially vulnerable.