Families Matter - June 2020

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Families Matter - banner

Welcome to the brand new, monthly newsletter from the Parent and Family Support Service. This newsletter will give regular updates, information, advice, and support for all parents, guardians and carers in Tower Hamlets.

We understand the challenges of a busy family life and know that access to support and information for parents and carers is crucial in achieving the best outcomes for children, young people and our communities.

Don’t forget you can also join one of our networks or attend a virtual parenting session to meet other parents and carers, share your experiences and learn from each other. 

For more information about the service, visit our website.

If you like this newsletter please share on social media using the following share button, or you can click the hyperlink in the top right corner of this email:

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Just to let you know, you're receiving this because you have either opted in to get emails from the council relating to children and education, or you are one of the Parental Engagement Team's regular contacts.

If you know anyone who would like to sign up to this newsletter, please send them the following link. They will need to close the initial pop-up subscription box and complete the one on the main webpage. They will then need to choose Children and Education as their preferred topic:


Thanks for reading.

Debbie Jones

A message to parents – sending children back to school

We have been working closely with our schools to make sure that returning to school is managed safely.

You can watch a video from Debbie Jones, Director of Children’s Services, for more information on what to expect. She explains why it’s important that your child goes back to school, if they can, and what our schools have done to put safety first.

You should contact your child's school to learn if they are eligible and discuss any concerns. Or call our Family Information Service for advice and support on 020 7364 6495, Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.

Watch video >

Quality in Play

Looking for childcare?

As many shops and businesses reopen under strict social distancing guidelines, parents may find they are being called back to work and will need to arrange appropriate childcare.

The Family Information Service can support you to find suitable childcare options that meet the needs of your family during this time. For more information call 020 7364 6495, Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.

Dad an daughter

Join the Tower Hamlets Dads’ Network

Dads and male carers from across the borough came together last Friday to meet and talk informally about fatherhood during coronavirus and celebrate Fathers’ Day Weekend.

The group chatted about the challenges of working from home and juggling family life, keeping children happy, occupied and engaged in their education and more. 

Participants also got a free activity bag with lots of resources to support play and creative learning for their children.  All said they found the meeting enjoyable and informative and are keen to meet again. 

Join us at the next Dads’ Network meeting on Tuesday 14 July from 2pm to 3pm.

You can also join the Dads’ Network to receive updates about national and local information on family life and strengthening relationships with children through positive parenting and play.

Learn more >

Play bag volunteers

Helping shielded children play

Hundreds of children who are being shielded at home, due to health conditions or complex needs, are being kept occupied thanks to the delivery of play and activity bags.

The Parental Engagement Team worked with voluntary sector organisations Toyhouse and Play Association Tower Hamlets to fill the bags with goodies.

Volunteers who were put in touch with the council by Volunteer Centre Tower Hamlets, worked with our staff at the town hall to fill the bags, ready for distribution to over 450 families who have been identified for support.

Mayor Biggs and Councillor Danny Hassell, Cabinet Member for Children and Schools, visited and thanked staff and volunteers for their work.

Read more on page 23 of the council's quarterly newspaper, Our East End.

Our East End > 

Family drawing

Family wellbeing

The Parental Engagement Team has put together some advice to help families stay well during what could be challenging times.

Tips include ideas to create some space at home, connecting with others and re-thinking screen-time.

Find out more >


Virtual support for the transition to secondary school

Workshops to help Years 5 & 6 parents navigate the secondary transfer process will be delivered through Zoom by experienced transition officers. These interactive sessions will explore how to support a child’s secondary transfer, practical considerations, key dates, and provide support with the application process.

The one hour workshops will take place at 11am, 2pm and 4pm on:

  • Tuesday 30 June 
  • Wednesday 1 July
  • Thursday 2 July

There are also specifically tailored virtual workshops to support parents who have children with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) and/or special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) coming up in early July.

For more details or to book your place, please email transitions@towerhamlets.gov.uk.

If you would like more information on the secondary school application process visit the council website.

Altab Ali

Fight for equality toolkit

A ‘Fight for Equality’ resource has been developed with young people from George Green’s School, as a way to help others learn about how local communities have come together to help stamp out racism.

It celebrates those who have inspired change by speaking out against hatred and intolerance. Readers will also discover the story of Altab Ali (pictured). The resource aims to equip people with the knowledge and confidence to challenge hatred and intolerance.

Learn more > 

Family warm their feet

Support tips for parenting toddlers to teens

We recognise that parents and carers may be worried right now, and that you may be looking for support.

Our parenting practitioners can provide practical support and advice to help parents and carers during this challenging time. All advice is based on extensive knowledge of parenting strategies that are proven to work.

We can help you with relationships and encouraging positive behaviour but you also don’t need to have a specific concern, we’re happy just to listen and support you.

Find out more >

Parent's conference - 2

Support available for parents

For more resources, information, advice, and guidance tailored towards children, young people, families, and professionals visit our Local Offer website.

Alternatively, you can call the Family Information Service on 020 7364 6495, Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.

Learn more >


Coronavirus updates and advice

The council is supporting the nation's efforts to stop the spread of coronavirus, while running our most critical services and supporting our residents, including those that are vulnerable.  

We are regularly publishing advice for residents, local businesses and more at www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/coronavirus 

We are also sharing updates with our subscribers in regular emails, and publishing stories on social media using #TowerHamletsTogether.

Sign up to our 'health and wellbeing - coronavirus' newsletter to get regular updates delivered to your inbox.

 Sign up for updates >

Stay at home

More on staying healthy, happy and entertained at home

In addition to the highlights featured here, the council has put together a whole host of resources to help families and individuals stay happy, healthy and entertained while they spend more time at home due to the coronavirus pandemic.

From online Idea Store materials to educational activities, learning a new skill or hobby, taking a virtual museum or zoo tour, keeping fit or just having pure fun, we've got it all in one place.

More activities and resources >

Did you know that Tower Hamlets offers other email newsletters to keep you up to date on a variety of topics?

  See the list and sign up!