The City of Wolverhampton Council Educational Psychology Service is committed to supporting children, families and schools during the Covid-19 pandemic. Below we provide an overview of support that you can access from us and resources available online.
The Coronavirus is presenting many challenges for us all, with restrictions to normal life, impacts on social relationships, a new way of school and work life, and uncertainty about the future. We know that schools have been working extremely hard during this time and they have a significant responsibility now to provide care for the children of keyworkers and vulnerable children and young people. Schools are also trying to keep in touch with and provide work for pupils who are staying at home and maintain staff safety and well-being.
Five key messages for supporting children and young people’s emotional well-being:
1. Make time to talk and keep in touch: For those children still attending school, use the timetable to provide children with time to talk and to understand this unexpected change in their circumstances. For some children at home, relationships with school staff will have been very important for their well-being; helping these children to feel that they are not forgotten is crucial. Consider ways to keep in touch with these children remotely via phone calls, emails or sending video messages.
2. Be understanding when setting learning tasks: Schools should be sensitive to the fact that families are under many pressures at the moment and so setting a child a ‘full timetable’ of work, as if they were at school, is not going to be possible. Such an approach risks leading to conflict and heightened stress at an unsettling time. This is particularly important where households have a number of children attending school and where parents are having to work from home.
3. Prioritise mental health and emotional wellbeing: There will be some cases where children and families may be experiencing significant levels of anxiety due to the general situation or a family member being ill. This may mean that for these children focusing on their wellbeing and mental health is the priority, rather than educational activities.
4. Signpost children and families to support: There is lots of information on the internet and social media and this can feel overwhelming for some people. Signpost children to support and guidance from Kooth (free online counselling service) and Young Minds. Signpost families to our website, guidance from the World Health Organisation and consider whether they would benefit from our free parent consultation service (information below).
5. Make time for your emotional wellbeing as a keyworker during this time: Teachers are doing an amazing job providing care and education for children of keyworkers and those in vulnerable groups, whilst also maintaining links with and providing work for children who are at home. This can be very stressful, tiring and anxiety provoking and so ensuring that you make time for staff well-being is essential. Check-in regularly with your staff and organise staff peer support groups who can keep in touch virtually via tools such as Zoom, Skype or Microsoft Teams. There is a useful article in TES talking through 7 ways teachers can protect their mental health. We can provide telephone support for staff and they can also access support and guidance from Education Support, who have a free, confidential helpline for all those working in education.
We want to support schools and settings within the City of Wolverhampton to do this and are offering support through the following ways:
- If you have a Service Level Agreement with us
Please speak to your link Educational Psychologist who can provide remote support (via phone call, video call or email). We can help in the following areas:
- How you can best support the well-being of pupils.
- How to promote the well-being of staff.
- Consultations for families regarding supporting their children at home.
- Remote support for children and young people who are struggling with the change to their lives.
- Offering supervision or coaching for staff.
- Critical Incident support following bereavements.
- Planning for when schools re-open to all pupils.
- If you do not have a Service Level Agreement with us
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org and one of the services Senior Educational Psychologists will contact you to discuss support we may be able to provide.
Useful resources for schools:
Up-to-date local information from the City of Wolverhampton Council:
Talking to children about Coronavirus:
Coronavirus and UK School Closures:
Supporting children’s mental health and well-being:
Supporting children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities:
The Wolverhampton Outreach Service supports mainstream schools to more confidently meet the needs of children with SEND and has put together information for parents who are supporting children with SEND at home.
Loss, bereavement and critical incidents:
Looking after your own Mental Health and Well-being:
Keeping children safe online:
Supporting your child’s learning at home
Guidance from the Inclusion Support Specialist Learning Support Service about supporting your child’s learning at home: