Frazzled parents struggling to homeschool their children during the coronarvirus pandemic are to be offered support through a new national helpline.
Named ‘StarLine’, the service will offer advice to families on how to educate their children at homes while schools are closed due to the outbreak of Covid-19.
The service, launched by a coalition of academy trusts and parenting groups, will also provide advice to parents on how to deal with difficult behaviour.
Mufti Hamid Patel, chief executive of Star Academies, one of the academy trusts behind the project, said: ‘We understand that this is a time of additional pressure for many parents and carers.
Named ‘StarLine’, the service will offer advice to families on how to educate their children at homes while schools are closed due to the outbreak of Covid-19. Pictured: a child being educated at home (stock image)
‘The combination of working from home, caring for our loved ones and trying to educate our children is a difficult juggling act.
‘Together with our partners, we want to use our educational expertise to support parents and carers who are grappling with the challenge of trying to maintain their children’s learning.’
StarLine will be run by a team of teachers and education and parenting experts, who will share tips and resources to help home-learning.
They will also provide advice to parents on how to structure the day.
The confidential phone line, which will be officially launched on Friday, will operate six days a week.
It will cover all areas of the curriculum across all phases of education.
The project is being backed by Mumsnet, a parenting forum, launched in 2000, which allows users to share advice and information on parenting
Justine Roberts, founder and CEO of Mumsnet, said: ‘Lockdown learning has been a huge adjustment for all families, and for some it’s extremely challenging.
The service, launched by a coalition of academy trusts and parenting groups, will also provide advice to parents on how to deal with difficult behaviour. Pictured: Two children being educated at home (stock image)
‘On our forums we’re seeing thousands of discussions, covering everything from anxiety about the impacts on GCSE and A-level pupils or questions about Key Stage 1 literacy, to worries about children’s socialisation and mental health and frustration about having to make one laptop stretch between three kids.
‘There’s no doubt that anxiety and stress are high in the mix, and some reassuring input from expert educators will be really valuable to frazzled and frantic parents.’
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said: ‘StarLine represents another inspiring example of teachers and education experts working together to share their knowledge, resources and expertise with schools and families across the country.’
Dr Patrick Roach, general secretary of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT) warned that staff concerns must be ‘fully addressed’
The StarLine group says that no external funding has been received for the project, which will be paid for by the partners of the scheme.
The number to call is 0330 3139162 and calls are charged at a local rate.
As previously reported by MailOnline, schools across the country closed to the majority of students in March following the outbreak of coronavirus in the UK.
Children of key workers and vulnerable pupils are still being taken into schools.
There is still no indication from the government when schools should fully reopen.
This week, union bosses set out a list of five conditions they claim must be observed to protect teachers if schools are to re-open amid the pandemic.
Dr Patrick Roach, general secretary of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT) warned that staff concerns must be ‘fully addressed’ before teachers would be willing to come back.
In a letter to Education Secretary Gavin Williamson, Dr Roach demands personal protective equipment (PPE) for all staff, anti-viral cleaning measures and guidelines on how social distancing would be enforced in schools.
The National Education Union (NEU) warned acting too early in the crisis will result in an ‘increased risk’ to staff and children, and could ‘undermine people’s resolve to stick to social isolation’.