As our children and young people prepare to go back to school next week, we have been working with schools across Croydon to support them in their plans to welcome pupils back as safely as possible.
Headteachers have written to parents letting them know about the measures they have put in place to minimise the risk of Covid-19 spreading and help protect pupils, staff and the wider community.
An incredible amount of work has gone into developing these plans, and I want to say thank you to all of our schools, their staff and staff here in the council, from those working in education to our public health team, for their hard work and commitment.
I also want to thank schools, parents and our partners for all they have done over the last few months to support our children and young people while most have been unable to attend school.
From the parents who have juggled home-schooling with their jobs, to the teachers who have delivered online learning while opening their schools for some of our most vulnerable children and those of key workers, and the youth workers who swiftly adapted in-person services to offer our young people a lifeline during lockdown – so many people have done their best to keep our young people safe and well.
And as we move to the next chapter in what has been an incredibly challenging time for everyone, as a council our priority is to support our children and young people and all those who work with them, to ensure they feel as safe and as comfortable as possible next week and in the weeks to come.
Walk, cycle and roll to school
Croydon has led the way in promoting greener, healthier travel to school and we’re proud to have more School Streets than any other borough in London.
These initiatives reduce traffic in the streets around our schools during peak times, so that pupils and parents can walk, cycle, scoot or roll more safely and, by doing so improve our air quality for everyone’s health. They have huge amounts of support from residents, schools and pupils who have felt the benefits in their own neighbourhoods.
Since the start of Covid-19 our Streetspaces programme has also been creating more space for people to walk and cycle safely, helping them to have safer, healthier journeys and improve air quality right across our borough.
We are doing all we can to help people choose greener journeys – whether they walk, cycle or roll – so if you’re heading back to school next week, please consider whether this is something you could do.
During this pandemic it’s more important than ever that we all try and choose these means of travel to minimise the spread of infection – but also to continue to tackle the issues of air pollution and childhood obesity.
With the small choices we make, we can all do our bit to keep Croydon as safe, clean and as healthy as possible now and in the future.
Thank you to Jo
This week we announced that Jo Negrini, who has been our chief executive since 2016, would be leaving the council, and I want to thank Jo for her dedicated service to Croydon.
She has led the council through some really challenging times; her work delivering the council response to the tram crash was exceptional, as was her role in supporting our journey to a good Ofsted rating for our children’s services, and more recently heading up the council’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic. I would like to wish her all the best for the future.
Shifa Mustafa, our executive director of place, will be covering the role while future arrangements are put in place. I look forward to working closely with her and all our staff and partners, as together we continue to deliver for our communities.
Stay safe this bank holiday
Finally, I’d like to wish you all a good bank holiday weekend – if you are socialising with family and friends, please do so safely – keep to the social distancing rules and if you have to symptoms, help protect our community by self-isolating and getting a test. If you’re returning from any of the countries on the government’s quarantine list, please follow the rules and stay at home. Together, we can all help to keep Croydon safe.