A Lancashire primary school headteacher has received widespread praise on social media today after her lockdown letter to parents goes viral.
The letter has been described as something that “all parents need to hear right now”.
Sarah White – headteacher at Coates Lane Primary School in Barnoldswick – wrote to parents and carers “surviving the pandemic” at her school last week to highlight that “times are tough at the moment” amid England’s third national coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown, with many having embarked on week four of homeschooling as schools remain closed to all but key worker and vulnerable children.
As a parent herself, who’s own two children “have been set an immense amount of work from their school”, Mrs White said she’s also feeling the strain and acknowledged that parents’ “mental health [is] taking a battering”.
But she praised them for what they are doing to get by, and said they’ll “get through this pandemic together”.
In the letter – which has amassed hundreds of interactions and shares on the school’s social media pages and via additional posts shared by parents online – Mrs White said: “Whatever your personal circumstances, you are doing a great job. If your child has had lots of microwave meals, stayed up too late, played too much on the Xbox and not finished all their school work… THAT’S OK!
“We know our pupils are safe, loved and cared for and that is the most important thing at the moment.”
She adds: “All we ask is that you do your best” and “if your best is a quick 30 minutes of reading or times tables here and there, that’s OK”.
“Please do not let school work put any extra pressure on you when you are trying to hold down jobs, earn a living and keep your children safe,
“Everyone’s circumstances are very different and we appreciate that.”
After closing out the letter assuring that while the school “may be closed to a lot of our pupils, we are still here emotionally for all of our families”, and offering up their aid for a “a chat, virtual cuppa, or a cry”, parents and carers have commented on the post to thank Mrs White for the “very important message”.
“So many people and their children are feeling pressure from so many directions right now,” said one.
Another added: “This letter would have helped to ease that pressure for so many of your parents. Sincerely, well done to you as a head and as a school for recognising that the mental health and wellbeing of your parents and children is the priority right now in this crazy world.”
A third simply said: “This is a wonderfully inspirational post”.