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Coronavirus: Plaistow teachers deliver packed lunches to pupils staying at home

PUBLISHED: 07:00 19 March 2020 | UPDATED: 10:16 19 March 2020

Cumberland School staff are providing lunches for pupils on free school meals who are having to stay home due to the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: Rachael Burford

Cumberland School staff are providing lunches for pupils on free school meals who are having to stay home due to the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: Rachael Burford

Rachael Burford

Teachers at a Plaistow school are delivering lunches to pupils who receive free school meals but have to stay at home because of the coronavirus.

Cumberland School staff are providing lunches for pupils on free school meals who are having to stay home due to the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: Rachael BurfordCumberland School staff are providing lunches for pupils on free school meals who are having to stay home due to the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: Rachael Burford

Pupils in Years 7, 8 and 9 at Cumberland School were told not to come in from yesterday (Tuesday, March 17) and dozens of others are in self-isolation.

The Oban Close school has a high number of children who receive free school meals and teaching staff have given up their time to make and deliver lunches to ensure they still get fed, even when they cannot attend.

Headteacher Omar Deria said: “This is a really personal thing for us. A lot of our students are from very deprived backgrounds and we don’t want them to miss a meal just because they cannot attend school.

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“We have teachers in our canteen putting together lunches and then loading them up into the mini bus.

“Two staff members are driving the bus around and delivering a lunch to every child who would have got one if they were here.

“We have delivered almost 50 but can see that number increasing as more and more have to stay home.”
Schools in England will close from Friday afternoon until further notice for all pupils except children of key workers and the most vulnerable.

Prime minister Boris Johnson also confirmed that exams will not take place as planned this summer.

Mr Deria added: ”We don’t know how long measures to prevent the spread of the virus will be in place but we know we going to be doing everything we can to help our students for the foreseeable future, even if they can’t be in school.”

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