Bristol teachers raise £3k for homeschooled pupils by running in fancy dress

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Staff at a Bristol school are taking to the streets to raise funds to buy desperately needed computers for their pupils' home learning.

Colleagues at Stoke Park Primary School in Lockleaze have raised £3,000 to buy 35 devices so far, by running in fancy dress to wave at children inside their homes. 

"It's been a real challenge to make sure those in school and those at home have equal opportunity in their learning," says headteacher Alison Lambert.

"What's been difficult is access to learning for those at home. 

"We have several large families sharing one or two devices. Lockleaze is an area within the city that has higher levels of deprivation than others.

"We have had an allocation of laptops from the DfE (Department for Education) but that's simply not enough for our school.

"Ideally, we wouldn't have to raise our own money by doing this, but it is something which is bringing the school community together."

Staff have provided more than 30 laptops to pupils to support their homeschooling. Credit: Stoke Park Primary School

Brothers Nathan and Emmanuel Eze, who are aged seven and eight, have been given a school laptop which they will be able to keep once lockdown eases.

"When we had (only) one, it was a bit difficult," explains their mother Omoyemi.

"Sometimes it leaves one of my children feeling bad. Why does Emmanuel need to go first, why does Nathan need to go first? I always had that issue every day. Now it's a whole lot better."

The issue for teachers and parents now is when their children can return to school.

The Government has suggested it might be possible for pupils to return to the classroom from 8 March if Covid rates are sufficiently low.

Pupils might be allowed to return to the classroom from 8 March.

Nursery teacher at Stoke Park Natasha Williams said: "The 8th of March is being thrown out there but we don't know any more than anybody else at the moment.

"Parents are getting desperate, they really want their children to come back and we want them back, too, just as soon as possible."

The Government has promised to give schools two weeks' notice before they reopen and Alison Lambert is calling for a clear and workable plan.

"The (Government) advice does change fairly frequently and it's not always with as much notice as we'd like, so that has been an additional challenge," she adds.

"Planning for the return to school after the last lockdown and certainly after this one has been difficult."

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