Chris Upton of St George’s Lodge of Chorley No 7161 gives a review of his experiences as a headteacher during the CORVID-19 pandemic.
“As the Headteacher of Tarleton Community Primary, I am currently working with a group of local headteachers and have set up a Key Worker Hub at my school for the children of key workers and vulnerable children. This is open to children across 10 rural schools in West Lancashire. It is working well and was written about in the Lancashire Evening Post, in which it stated that the team from schools in West Lancashire and part of Chorley have set up three hubs at separate schools to make sure everyone who needs to be is catered for.”
After talks with his neighbouring counterparts Chris Upton, sent out an SOS to parents to try to find out how many families may need to be catered for. Once the government announced the criteria, the schools rallied to form themselves in three sites to cover the rural area.
Chris said: “Lancashire County Council issued a directive that all schools would stay open for vulnerable children and key workers. They have offered groups like ours flexibility to look at local solutions such as using hubs which wouldn’t be suitable for every school.”
He added: “It has been incredibly challenging for schools locally and across the county to put provision together in such a short amount of time, especially as information from central government has been flimsy at best and issued in fits and starts, so no one in education has been given the time to realistically put things in place. This has caused a great deal of stress to school staff and parents alike who are all trying to do their bit for the current situation.” Despite that, he says: “Our cluster is upbeat and looking forward to the hubs opening their doors on Monday.”
The TaRDis Cluster (Tarleton and Rural District) currently has three hubs:
Hub 1: Based at Tarleton Community Primary. This is for the children of key workers from Tarleton Community, All Saints Hesketh and Becconsall, Bretherton Endowed, Banks Methodist, Banks St Stephens, Holmeswood Methodist.
Hub 2: Based at Tarleton Holy Trinity. This is for the children of key workers from Holy Trinity, Mere Brow and Rufford.
Hub 3: Based at Richard Durnings. This is for the children of key workers from Richard Durning and St Peter and Paul Mawdesley.