Only a portion of the expected half a million vulnerable children in England is showing up at school.
A sanctuary for vulnerable children
As the COVID-19 outbreak hit England, the Department for Education (DFE), headed by Education Secretary Gavin Williamson, suspended all classes and made the schools as a sanctuary for vulnerable children and children of key workers in England.
The department was expecting around 500,000 vulnerable children, to be distributed in different schools across England, to avail of the government’s program from social needs. Vulnerable children are those who are homeless, coming from low-income families and those with special needs.
In addition, children of key workers in England are also welcome to stay at schools provided by the government. Both parents are key workers and single parents working as key workers with no guardians available to look after their children can go to special schools provided by the government to offer social worker services. This way, key workers will have the peace of mind that their children are in safe hands at a time of pandemic such as the COVID-19 outbreak.
Additional funding to further reach out to all children in need
Tulip Siddiq, a politician under the Labour Party, requested Mr. Williamson for additional funding to reach out to vulnerable children that are not turning up at school to avail of their free social work services.
The low turnout rate of students coming from the vulnerable children category indicates a problem in the way the government is reaching out a hand to them. Layla Moran of the Liberal Democrats is asking the government to intervene, to ensure that vulnerable children are well-taken care off at a crucial time like this.
A well-organized information drive should also take effect in order to educate parents and guardians about the benefits and services the government is handing out for children who are in need. The children’s health and welfare should be a primary concern of the government and the DfE right now.
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