An open letter to children across the UK published today praises the resilience of a generation who have had their lives and education disrupted by the pandemic.
More than 400 schools and partner organisations have added their names to the letter which pledges to help young people recover by giving them time and space to play and be active, and offering them greater opportunities to purse their passions.
Schools across England are sending the letter home to pupils, publishing it on their websites and social media feeds and using it as the basis for return-to-school assemblies.
The letter has been co-ordinated by Well Schools, the movement of schools working to put wellbeing at the heart of education, which is powered by the Youth Sport Trust and Bupa Foundation.
As well as schools and parents, signatories to the letter include Youth Sport Trust ambassador Dr Radha Modgil and organisations like Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), 1851 Trust, Anna Freud Centre, National Governance Association (NGA), The Children's Society, Confederation of School Trusts, What Works Wellbeing Centre and the Chartered College of School Leaders.
To the children and young people of the UK
We are writing this letter to you because there are a few things we think you should know:
We are incredibly proud of you
This last year has been exceptionally difficult. You have shown incredible resilience and adaptability. You have been selfless and put the needs of others before your own. You have made so many sacrifices and yet faced the challenges with strength and determination. There is much you’ve been told you’ve lost, including many weeks of your education, but there is much you have gained. You will emerge from this stronger. This may be the greatest challenge you have faced so far but it will not be the last. Next time you will find you have more resources and are better prepared (and even more so the time after that).
We are here for you
We know some of you will be worried about what the future holds. We want you to know we are
here for you. We know you will need a chance to reconnect with your friends. We know you will
need time and space to play and be active. We know you are desperate to get back to your sports/
music/art/acting and everything else that is so crucial to your development. We know that you are
keen to get back to your academic studies in school and college as well. We know that evenings,
weekends and holidays are as important as your time at school. We are committed to ensuring that
your opportunities are balanced and wherever your passions lie you have the chance to pursue these. We will be here to encourage you, support you, challenge and help you every step of the way.
You are the future
You are the future and that future is not written. There are challenges but there always have been and always will be: we know we will get through this together. We have complete faith in you. We want you to know that; more than anything. Do not let us or anyone else tell you what you can or can’t be. We don’t know. We cannot imagine what you will achieve. But we are so excited to see and be a part of it.
We hope to see you back in our schools and colleges very soon. Whatever happens next, it will just be another step in your journey.