Today we see children return to school across the country for what is hopefully the last time. However, this period of home-schooling has meant more lost hours of education and risks putting the most vulnerable children even further behind.
This period of home-schooling has been particularly strenuous on families due to its longevity and crucial time for exam aged students. Organisations in the community such as the Lewisham Refugee and Migrant Network have seen a rise in requests form clients around home-schooling support and needs for equipment.
“Parents and children have found this period of home-schooling particularly tough and we have seen an ever-increasing number of requests for support and for school equipment. We have been responding in any way we can and encourage our clients to explore all the services the community has on offer,” said Elsa King, Women Engagement Worker, LRMN.
Services delivered by community organisations such as the City of Sanctuary Group and The Lewisham Refugee & Migrant Network (LRMN), have been offering support for those families most in need. Responding to the requests from clients they received, LRMN referred some families to a charity that could support the children through a one-to-one tutoring service. They have also supplied a number of families with school equipment such as laptops from local charity CatBytes which distributes donated laptops and tablets to local families in Lewisham.
The City of Sanctuary group has set up an online homework club for those who need support in home-schooling. This club is made up of community volunteers, including ex teachers who are on hand to deliver additional lessons and assist children with their school-work. This project has started on a trial basis and aims to be open to children aged 6-14. Depending on the availability of laptops and tablets in the home, children can have their own tutor or have one as a family, dividing the hour of Homework Club between them.
Initiatives such as these are crucial during lockdown and should continue as schools begin to reopen. Long school closures and a lack of education support runs the risk of causing the most vulnerable children to fall behind in terms of their learning.
This first wave of online homework club is in its trial period after enrolling 22 volunteers to teach. It is important that we can support these projects going forward and continue to support vulnerable children in the community.
If you want to learn more about the homework club or tutoring email:
If you have any school equipment, particularly tablets or laptops to donate visit https://catbytes.community/any-old-io