Thursday 13th August 2020
Due to the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19), we will now be providing regular email updates for residents to let you know about the latest information we have and any changes to local services that may be affected.
If you do not wish to receive these updates please click on “unsubscribe” at the bottom of the page.
You can check the latest information on our website at any time by going to https://www.rotherham.gov.uk/coronavirus
Praise for schools and students in unprescedented year
A-Level and vocational qualifications results for students have been announced today for students in England.
With no exams taking place this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, schools and colleges were asked to predict the grades pupils would have achieved in each subject, if they had sat the exams.
These predictions were sent to the exam boards, along with the rank order of students within a particular subject.
The exam boards then applied a formula to the estimated grades, which took into account a variety of factors, including the previous exam performance of schools, to calculate a final grade.
The Government announced on Tuesday evening that students would have the option of appealing their grade through reference to their mock exam result, if it was better than the grade allocated to them.
They said using a mock result created a new ‘triple lock’ process to give young people added security, alongside options of accepting their calculated grade or sitting exams being arranged for the autumn.
Rotherham Council will work with schools to provide any necessary support to try to ensure young people from the borough are not disadvantaged by the system that has been used.
Councillor Gordon Watson (pictured above), Cabinet Member for Children’s Services said: “These are extraordinary times and I would like to pay tribute to the incredible effort and determination shown by our schools, teaching staff and students in achieving the results announced today.”
The Council has heard from a number of local Head Teachers, who have expressed frustration and anger at the way and extent to which many students have seen their assessed grades downgraded.
Councillor Watson added: “It saddens and angers me to see the way schools, teachers and students have been let down by the chaotic way the Government has handled its flawed grading system. We will be liaising with our schools over the coming days to establish the full impact that this has had on grades and provide any support we can.”
Positive response to new library collection service
There’s been a good response to a new Rotherham Libraries service, which gives local residents the chance to borrow their favourite books while we work to get the library buildings themselves back open.
In its first week of operation, the new order and collect facility generated 62 requests library users.
Eleven local libraries are providing the service, which gives customers access to the extensive online Library catalogue of thousands of titles, place an order for the book or books of their by phone or online and fix-up a time to collect it from their local library.
The service is only available for library members, but if you’re not yet a member, then joining is also simple, using the website.
The 11 libraries taking part in the scheme are:
- Riverside House
- Thorpe Hesley
The order and collect service is the first stage in a planned re-opening of libraries across Rotherham.
For more details and to use the order and collect service, using the link below. Alternatively you can email or telephone your local library for more information (click on the library name above for contact details).
The Libraries website is also home to a wide range of online resources, including access to e-books and e-magazines.
More playgrounds re-open as children have fun in the sun
Our parks teams are working flat out to re-open playgrounds across the borough to give children the chance to play, exercise and have fun in their local park
Since the weekend we’ve re-opened 22 of the borough’s playgrounds, making them safe for children to enjoy. The playgrounds we have re-opened so far are:
Herringthorpe Valley Park
Kilnhurst Recreation Ground
Lodge Lane (Thorpe Hesley)
Rosehill Park (Victoria)
Rother Valley Country Park
West Melton Park
Please bear with us, while we work to get each site open safely, as soon as we can.
With new sites re-opening every day, please check the Rotherham Parks Facebook page where daily updates are being provided.
Before any playground is re-opened, a full maintenance check needs to take place and signage (like the below) installed, so that parents and children know about the new guidance they need to follow while using the facilities. It’s really important you stick to these rules which are there to protect you, your chldren, our staff and to help continue to keep Rotherham open.
To make sure young people with special educational needs or disabilities get access to the playgrounds, they are reserved for their use only between 10am and 11am daily.
Yorkshire councils join forces in bid for extra Covid funds
Rotherham is one of seven larger Yorkshire councils worst hit by the pandemic to join forces in calling for more Government support for people and businesses worst affected.
The local authorities that are working together have all featured on the national COVID watchlist in recent weeks. As well as Rotherham, they are: Barnsley, Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Sheffield and Wakefield.
In a joint-letter to Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, and Dido Harding, Chair of the NHS Test and Trace Programme,the Council’s Leaders are proposing new arrangements for working with communities to prevent community and household transmission, and to support care homes and low-income households.
Councillor Chris Read, Leader of Rotherham Council (pictured above), said: “The government’s move at last to better join up national tracing resources with the work of local authorities is welcome if overdue.
“As the leaders of council areas that have been particularly affected by covid over the last few months, we all continue to press for more action to support our communities, making sure that we can respond to local needs quickly and prioritise our most vulnerable residents. We have set out in this letter more about how this should work in practice and we look forward to the Government’s response.”
Come and join us for a virtual VJ Day commemoration
On Saturday 15th August we’re commemorating the Victory in Japan (VJ) Day 75th anniversary and reminiscing with some nostalgic entertainment.
VJ Day is the day marking the allied victory over Japan (15th August 1945) and the end of the Second World War.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we’re unable to hold an event in Rotherham, but people are being invited to join the Mayor of Rotherham on the Council’s social media channels to commemorate the 75th anniversary remembering the scale of the service and the sacrifice made by the entire Second World War generation.
Starting with a two minute silence at 11am, The Mayor, Councillor Jenny Andrews will introduce a one hour performance by Lorrie Brown, who will perform Sincerely Yours ‘The Vera Lynn Story’
More details about the VJ Day 75th commemorations are available on the Royal British Legion website https://www.britishlegion.org.uk/get-involved/remembrance/remembrance-events/vj-day and the Gov.UK website: https://ve-vjday75.gov.uk/vjday/
Changes to your Covid-19 email bulletins
We’ve been providing updates on the impact of Covid-19 in Rotherham through these emails for several months now.
As the restrictions ease and many services begin to start-up again, we’re going to reduce the number of email updates we normally issue to residents from two to one per week.
Starting from next week, these bulletins will be issued every Monday.
If there is some important news on another day that we need to inform you about urgently, we will send additional updates.
Don’t forget, there are also many other ways you can keep in touch with Council news and our response to the Covid-19 pandemic, including:
Getting in touch…
During this challenging time please, where possible and appropriate, use our online services rather than calling via telephone. We’re receiving a high level of calls daily and want to ensure we’re able to answer urgent calls regarding vulnerable residents and our front line services.