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Support for Parents during School Closure and COVID-19 response

Dear Parents

Even at its best, being a parent can be one of the hardest jobs in the world.

But in these strange times, parents are under more pressure than ever as we try to keep the balance through lockdown.

Trying to support our children in their school work, ensure our families stay physically and mentally healthy, stop arguments spiralling out of control, juggle work (if we are lucky enough to have it) and look after our own wellbeing somewhere in the mix can feel overwhelming.

In normal times, Parent Gym’s school-based interactive sessions help build the skills and confidence of parents to create a calm home environment and raise happy children.

With schools closed, Parent Gym are developing a brand-new set of short online modules, offering quick, practical techniques to help create a happier family during these tricky times.

E-workouts are free and fun and take only a few minutes to do on your phone, tablet or laptop – perfect for when you are making a cup of tea.

The first module - Keep Talking, looks at ways to get our families communicating.  (We are busy producing more workouts so watch this space!).

Click https://storefront.themindgym.com/store  to head through to the Mind Gym Storefront, pop the Parent Gym Keep Talking module in your shopping basket and ‘purchase’ the eWorkouts (it won’t cost you a thing though…).

Why not also visit Parent Gym’s facebook group, Parenting through uncertainty https://www.facebook.com/groups/148481499806766/ to share your experiences of parenting in lockdown and pick up some ideas from other parents for ways to keep our family life calm?  

Best wishes 

Helen Jackson

Senior Learning Mentor & Family Support

Online Safety

We recognise that modern technology offers significant opportunities for learning and socialising and ever more so in these difficult times. Responsible use of technology to learn, communicate with friends and family and access support will be really important as the opportunities for face to face communication are restricted.

We want to ensure that students and parents/carers understand how to ensure young people stay safe online.

Advice for Staying Safe Online.

Keep personal information private, do not share personal details like your address, school, phone number or location. Avoid posting anything that can identify you to a specific location such as your school, football club etc. That includes avoiding posting pictures in an identifiable uniform or saying where you are going online.

Make sure your security settings are in place so that you control who sees anything you share online and check these regularly. Don’t share your passwords even with friends, make them hard to guess and if you think your account has been hacked or cloned report it straight away and change your password.

Remember that people online are not always who they say they are. Never agree to meet someone in person you have only met online. If someone makes you feel uncomfortable online, log off or block them and tell a trusted adult. Use reporting buttons to report inappropriate behaviour.

Think before you post or send anything online, would you be happy for anyone to see it? Even if you send something privately the person you are sending it to could screen shot it and share it. Would you be happy for your family to see it? What about a future employer?

Don’t accept or open files from people you don’t know they could contain viruses or inappropriate messages or pictures. Delete suspicious emails.

Not all information online is reliable, check if it is a trusted source before using it. Beware of pop ups that take you to less trusted sites and check web addresses look genuine. Beware of fraudulent emails, texts and links that take you to fake sites and never give your bank details even if they are promising you a cash prize or refund.

Be aware that most people are likely to exaggerate online and only share their perception of events, people often only share the best times. It’s not likely to reflect their everyday real life and you shouldn’t compare it to yours.

It’s good to know what’s going on in the world but if it gets too much take a break from it and do something that takes you off line and helps you relax or focus on something else.

If you do send something you regret or feel you shouldn’t please tell someone so we can try and help you put things right. Don’t let anyone use something you have shared online to make you do or say things you are not okay with.

What do I need to do if I am worried?

All staff who work in school have a responsibility to safeguard and protect children and young people. If you are worried tell an adult you trust or speak to one of our safeguarding team.

Safeguarding Staff are available through the school number 0113 336 7401 or Learning Mentor  07891278262

If you are worried you have been a victim of online abuse or you're worried about somebody else you can also report this to CEOP online at www.ceop.police.uk/safety-centre

www.thinkuknow.co.uk have advice for all different ages including parents/carers on all sports of online issues and where you can get support.

If you're being bullied online and would like to talk to someone in confidence you can also speak to Childline on 0800 1111 or talk to them online at www.childline.org.uk/get-support/contacting-childline


If you need family support during the school closure you can email learningmentor@burleystmatthias.co.uk or ring 07891278262

Central Government help can be found  here.

Leeds City Council has set up a series of hubs across the city to coordinate volunteer support.  All volunteers are trained and checked on the DBS service.

Numbers to call are:

0113 378 1877  for people who can’t get out, need help with shopping, medication etc.See poster below 'Number to call for Support'.

Welfare support number: 0113 376 0330  for families in financial difficulty, help with food, energy bills, welfare applications etc.

Email: help@kvdt.org.uk  

School and St Matt's Church also have emergency food parcels available.  Call 0113 328 1441 or email help@stmattsleeds.co.uk

The Foodbank at St Mary's, Hawksworth Wood is open every Friday from 10am-12pm.  No referral or voucher needed.

There is no need for any family to hungry at this time.  Please get in touch.


For families or individuals that are struggling financially, you can have a benefit check to maximise all of your entitlements.  You can contact Leeds City Council Welfare Rights Team on 376 0452 or welfare.rights@leeds.gov.uk

If you have maximised your income but are still struggling, you can contact the Local Welfare Support Scheme- https://www.leeds.gov.uk/leedsmic/local-welfare-support.  Telephone 0113 376 0330.

If you have a prepayment gas/electric meter you will be assessed on a case by case basis and if successful you can receive a cash payment from the scheme which can be collected from their nearest credit union on a Tuesday, Thursday or Friday. 

Keeping Safe and Well

Are you living with a young person struggling with Low Mood or Depression?

This online course is aimed at helping you to help young people deal with depression.

Domestic Abuse

Safer Leeds have updated their website to include useful information for victims of Domestic Violence and people delivering services. Please would you update your school website with the link below for parents and carers to access. It would be helpful for vulnerable victims and their children if the link could be placed on your school website home landing page during the current lockdown period.


Relationship Matters launching on 11th May 2020

Relationship Matters is the regions response to the Department for Work and Pensions Reducing Parental Conflict Programme.   The aims of Relationship Matters are to;

·     Raise awareness about the impact of parental conflict on children

·     Provide support and advice via the new website

·     Signpost families who need help

For more information about relationship matters visit


Listen out for the radio campaign from breakfast time on Radio Aire on 11th May

You can visit leeds.gov.uk/relationshipmatters for more information

Support for the Bereaved

This leaflet outlines what to do if you are bereaved during the COVID-19 pandemic.


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