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Active Travel October 2020

Dear Parent/ Guardian, 

Public transport capacity is limited so where possible try to walk, cycle or scoot part or all of your journey. This will help increase capacity and free up buses for other customers and key workers and help enable London's young people to make safe and reliable journeys to and from school. 

There's never been a better time to get active on the school run by choosing to walk and cycle to school. Tower Hamlets is investing in lots of changes around schools to make it safer and more enjoyable to get around. Much of the traffic and pollution at peak times is related to school journeys so you can improve your family's health and environment by changing the way you travel. Public transport capacity remains limited, due to social distancing, so it's vital that families try to walk, scooter or cycle part or all of their trips if they can. 

  • Help slow global warming
  • Fewer cars means cleaner air
  • Get to know your area and meet friends
  • Keep active: healthy body, healthy mind
  • Save money on public transport or fuel costs
  • Beat the traffic jams
  • Boost your confidence with free family cycle training or an online course
  • You can hire a Santander Cycle from less than 25p per day
  • Social distancing is easy on a bike.

Visit Tower Hamlets School Run page for advice and support to make travel more active, healthy and enjoyable:


 TFL has also produced a journey planning tools and support that’s available to schools, parents and families: https://tfl.gov.uk/reopeningeducation


Holiday Childcare Scheme for October 2020

Please see attached details of the Holiday Childcare Scheme for October 2020. We kindly ask you to promote to parents / carers who may be interested in holiday provision or you can refer any vulnerable children to the scheme. Further information is available on our website. https://www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/lgnl/education_and_learning/extra-curricular_activities/Holiday_childcare/Holiday_Childcare_Scheme.aspx


Families Matter - September 2020

Apply now for nursery, primary or secondary school places starting September 2021

Parents and carers in Tower Hamlets can now apply for places at their chosen nursery, primary or secondary schools in the borough, starting in September 2021.

The secondary school booklet is online this year.

Applications opened on Tuesday 1 September and deadlines vary by age group: 

  • Apply for secondary school places by Saturday 31 October 2020 
  • Apply for primary school places by Friday 15 January 2021 
  • Apply for nursery places in maintained nursery schools and primary schools by Tuesday 16 February 2021

Learn more in a series of short videos, which explain how and when to apply: nursery, primary and secondary.

Find out More >



Tower Hamlets Transition Support Service

The Tower Hamlets Transition Support Service continues to provide information, advice and support around school transitions. They are currently offering secondary transfer workshops for Year 6 parents to explain the application process for secondary schools. These ‘Moving Up 2021’ virtual sessions, delivered through Zoom, will run until October half term.

The Transition Support Service also work with families on a range of school issues including school admissions, managed moves, exclusions and bullying concerns.

For more details contact email transitions@towerhamlets.gov.uk  or call Bernadette Ogazi, Senior Transition Support Officer on 07940 462 447.

 Virtual sessions


Free virtual sessions for worried parents

This year it’s been a ‘back to school’ like no other. From worries about class bubbles and schools closing again to figuring out how to get the most out of ‘blended learning’- there’s been a lot for parents to navigate.

The Parental Engagement Team continue to provide support and respond to parents’ changing needs with their offer of free, virtual sessions. You’ll have a chance to share your experiences, ask questions and pick up some useful tips from experienced schools and families practitioners.

Topics include support for parents on:

  • Key stage 1 and 2 maths and reading
  • Learning in the early years
  • Online safety and learning using school websites (also covering online learning portals such as Google Classroom and Purple Mash)
  • Healthy families tips 

There will also be a session on how to create a rich home learning environment that compliments lessons at school.

The first session delivered via Zoom is on Tuesday 29 September with a discussion on supporting your child’s learning as they return to school.

For more information, including dates, times and how to attend, please click the link below.

 Information to book places here >

 Holiday childcare - children playing


Holiday Childcare Scheme - book for October half term

The Tower Hamlets Holiday Childcare Scheme offers play provision for children aged three to 13-years-old.

The October scheme will be held at St Mary and St Michael Primary School from Monday 26 October to Friday 30 October 2020. 

 Book now >

Father and son

The Tower Hamlets Dads’ Network virtual meet up

The Tower Hamlets Dads’ Network supports dads and male carers to strengthen their relationship with their children through positive parenting and play.

The network’s next virtual meet up will be on Friday 2 October from 2 pm to 3 pm. The meeting, which will be hosted on Zoom, is an opportunity to share parenting experiences, catch up on local news, ask questions, and get advice.

For more details and the Zoom link, contact Andy Simons.

Tel:      020 7364 6398

Email:  parenting@towerhamlets.gov.uk

Find out more >

Parent and Carer Council

Parent and Carer Council virtual meeting

The next Parent and Carer Council meeting will be held on Saturday 10 October 2020, 10.30 am - 12.30 pm via Zoom.  

Public Health will be attending with the latest local Covid-19 information for families and there will be information on anti-racism projects taking place in schools.  To mark World Mental Health Day, Parent Champion volunteers will share the work they have been doing to raise awareness of the importance of children and parents’ mental health.

There will be updates since the last meeting in March plus a chance to meet the new Tower Hamlets Director of Children and Culture, James Thomas and hear from Councillor Danny Hassell, Cabinet Member for Children and Schools on the work that has been happening in his area.

For more information, to join the Parent and Carer Council and to book your place at the next meeting, email parentcouncil@towerhamlets.gov.uk

 Get involved ! >


SEND Information Advice and Support Service telephone advice line

The Tower Hamlets Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Information, Advice and Support Service (SEND IASS) provides expert advice, advocacy and mediation for parents and carers of children and young people with SEND. This can be on any issues related to education, health and social care.

The service now has a telephone advice line to replace the previous ‘drop-in’ sessions. For information and advice, please contact the advice line on 020 7364 6460.

This service runs every Tuesday 9.30 am to 3 pm.

SEND IASS main line 020 7364 6489 is open Monday – Friday 9 am to 5 pm.

Parent Ambassador

Become a SEND Parent Ambassador

The SEND Parent Ambassadors are parents of children and young people with SEND. They work with the Family Information, Advice and Support Service to ensure that parents and carers in Tower Hamlets are informed, consulted and invited to participate in the shaping of services for local families.

The Ambassadors deliver outreach information workshops in schools and settings across the borough and actively promote parent participation. Ambassadors receive ongoing training and support. 

If you are interested in becoming a SEND Parent Ambassador, telephone 020 7364 7127 or email fis@towerhamlets.gov.uk

 SEND Parent Ambassador Inspiration here >

 Young people's forum at picnic

SEND Young People’s Forum

The Tower Hamlets SEND Young People’s Forum is an all ability youth forum run by and for young people between the ages of 16 – 25-years-old with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

The forum campaigns for positive change as well as providing opportunities for young people to gain new experiences, make friends and build their confidence. They hold regular events such as their recent summer picnic, where everyone enjoyed catching up with one another post lockdown in August.

If you know any young people who would be interested in joining the forum, call 020 7364 7127 or email yp@towerhamlets.gov.uk 

Child playing 

Help with family challenges during the pandemic

The current pandemic has resulted in many challenges for families to navigate. School closures, remote working and social distancing have all caused disruption to family life. UNICEF have produced some handy tips to help parents deal with some of these challenges- from how to parent in a crowded home to family budgeting in times of financial crisis.

UNICEF's Handy Tips >

Children's Choir 

Tower Hamlets Virtual Children’s Choir

Tower Hamlets Arts and Music Education Service (THAMES) are launching a free virtual choir for children aged 7 – 11-years-old who live or attend school in Tower Hamlets. The virtual choir will meet on Mondays, 4.30 pm to 5.30 pm, starting on Monday 5 October using Zoom.

All you need is a quiet place to sing, a device with internet connection and for parents to complete a safeguarding consent form. Once registered, full details will be emailed to you.

Register here > 




Reading inspiration for Black History Month

October is Black History Month and recent events have only highlighted why we need to celebrate it now more than ever.

Books can play a vital role in helping children make sense of the past, so author Catherine Johnson has teamed up with the Book Trust to share her all time favourite Black History books that will educate and inspire.          

 Get inspired here >

 Lady reading a book

Idea Store autumn course directory

Autumn is a great time to embark on a project or learn a new skill. Get inspired with the very latest course directory from Tower Hamlets Idea Store. You’ll find a range of courses from photography to foreign languages and with day-time, evening and weekend courses; there should be something to suit everyone.

 Start learning here >

 Keeping Community Safe

Keeping our community safe

Knife crime is a worrying concern for many parents. It can be easy to feel helpless, but there are things you can do. By speaking up and sharing information with Crimestoppers (a charity who are independent from the police), you can help to make our communities safer.

Every little bit of information is useful in the fight against knife crime, so if something doesn’t feel right, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

 Hard calls saves lives >

Home Education

Elective home education information

Some parents choose to educate their children at home rather than sending them to school. While parents can legally take on this responsibility, the local authority must be informed and satisfied that the child is being taught to an acceptable standard.

If you are currently home educating or considering home education as an approach to meeting the learning needs of your child, advice and guidance about home education is available from the Tower Hamlets Education Safeguarding Service.

For more information, please contact the Tower Hamlets Education Safeguarding Service.

Email: ehe@towerhamlets.gov.uk

Tel: 020 7364 3431

 More education information >

Community Champion


Become a Covid-19 community champion

As cases of Covid-19 are increasing in the borough, Tower Hamlets Council is calling on residents to sign up to become Covid-19 community champions to help everyone stay informed and in tune with the latest advice.  

The programme is simple. Residents sign up to become champions and the council then regularly shares up-to-date advice and information on Covid-19 with them. Champions then share the information with their families, friends and their wider communities, helping them make sense of it.

Sign up here >

Parents in a classroom

The Somali Parents and Carers Network

The network is an established support group for Somali parents in the borough that meets every month during term time. It provides a space for Somali parents to share their experiences, listen to guest speakers and discuss topics relating to education, health, parenting and safeguarding.

The Parental Engagement Team has been adapting to the current health situation by inviting Somali parents and carers to virtual network meetings instead of the usual face-to- face meetings.

The next meeting will be held on Monday 19 October from 11 am to 1 pm via Zoom. For further information or to book a place, email parenting@towerhamlets.gov.uk or call 020 7364 6398.


Families Matter - August 2020


Poster - School is a place to learn

Next week, children and young people in Tower Hamlets will begin to go back to school; for some, this may be the first time they have set foot in a classroom since March.

To help families, children and young people prepare the council has collected the latest advice, information and support on www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/backtoschool which will be updated throughout September.

They have also released several new videos, featuring students, staff and parents discussing what they have missed about school, how they continued their learning during lockdown and why they’re looking forward to going back to school.

Find out more >

Children looking at camera

Back to school - your questions answered

Children and young people from Tower Hamlets recently put their questions on going back to school to Katie Cole, the council’s Associate Director of Public Health for Children and Families.

Tune in >

Its back to school


Back to school - government guidance

Many parents will have concerns about the return to school and may be worried that their child has fallen behind with their learning or they might want to know more about how children will be kept safe from the virus at school. The government has produced a comprehensive guide that aims to answer some common concerns - from how learning will resume to what happens if there is a confirmed case of Covid- 19 at school. 

Read more >

Girl looking out of a window

Back to school worries – support for children

School is such an important part of a child’s life, but the prospect of returning after lockdown may leave some children feeling anxious or frightened. Here are some useful tips, produced by Childline, to help children navigate some of the complicated emotions they may be feeling about going back to school.

Get support >

Back to school

Back to school worries - support meetings for parents

Are you worried about your child’s return to school? Do you think they have fallen behind with their learning? Are you anxious about their safety and want to know more about how they will be kept safe at school?

The Parent and Family Support Service is offering parents ‘Back to School’ virtual meetings. These meetings can be provided one-to-one or in small groups and give parents a chance to connect with others as well as discuss any concerns they may have with an experienced practitioner.

There will also be discussion groups for Bengali and Somali speakers as well as meetings for parents of children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), also supported by the borough’s SEND Parent Ambassadors.

SEND back to school workshops for parents will be held every Thursday in September, starting Thursday 3 September from 11am to 1 pm. Workshops for other parent groups will also be delivered from September.

To find out more and to book your place email parentalengagement@towerhamlets.gov.uk or call the Family Information Service on 020 7364 6495.

 School Uniform


School clothing grant

Starting back at school can be an expensive time for families, but did you know you may be eligible for a school clothing grant to help towards the cost of a school uniform? The grant is for children aged 11 who are changing from primary to secondary school.

Applications for this year can be made until 30 September, although late applications may be considered in exceptional circumstances.

Learn more >

Child reading a book

Starting school reading inspiration

Starting school brings about big changes for the whole family and is a key milestone in a child’s life. Some children will adjust easily to the new environment, while others will take longer to feel secure.

Sharing engaging stories about starting school is a great way to gently prepare them for their first day. Whether they are nervous or excited - these books, compiled by the Book Trust, will help their big day go smoothly.

Reading inspiration >

Morning routines

Stress free morning routines

Those first mornings of the school year can be tricky, but it’s worth taking time to establish a morning routine - it can help set up your day and ensure children get off to the best possible start at school. 

Here are some simple ideas to help you streamline your school morning routine and get everyone back to school with less stress.

Less stress >

Young person cycling

Alternatives to public transport

With reduced capacity on public transport, more and more people are looking for alternatives to using public transport like walking, cycling or using a scooter.

These are all great ways to get to work or school and fitting it into your daily routine may be easier than you think. You could see a lot more of London and may even discover some interesting routes along the way.

Active travel >

Mother holding a baby

How has Covid-19 affected your family?

University College London want to learn more about the impact of Covid-19 on families with young children. If you live in Tower Hamlets and you are pregnant or have a child who is under-five, they would like to hear from you.

Participants will receive a £10 shopping voucher and results from the survey will help shape the council’s services for families and young children.

Complete survey >

Logo of FIS

The Family Information Service

The Family Information Service (FIS) provides information on all services in Tower Hamlets as well as an eligibility checking service for free school meals and early learning for two year olds. The service can also provide wider information on how families can receive support with food outside school if required, childcare, health and leisure and much more.

For further information please visit Local Offer.

The FIS operates a telephone information service from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. To find out more call 020 7364 6495 or email fis@towerhamlets.gov.uk

Become a school governor

Have you ever considered becoming a school governor? Schools need governing boards that have a balance and diversity of knowledge, skills and experience to enable it to be effective. If you’d like the chance to make a real difference to young people, give back to the local community while developing your own skills, then this could be the perfect role for you.

For more details, contact Governor Services on 020 7364 3141 or email governors@towerhamlets.gov.uk 

Apply now >

Planning for secondary school 

Planning for secondary school

Starting secondary school is such an important step in a young person’s educational journey, but the application process can be daunting. The Tower Hamlets Transition Support Service are on hand to provide valuable advice and support around transitions.

The service will be delivering information workshops virtually in the Autumn. The ‘Moving Up 2021’ workshops, for Year 6 parents, aim to demystify the secondary school application process as well as providing useful tips to ease the transition to secondary school.

For more details, speak to your primary school, visit the Local Offer, email transitions@towerhamlets.gov.uk or call 0207 364 1533.

Holiday Childcare

Holiday Childcare Scheme Fun

The summer holiday childcare scheme was a great success with student placements  taking place and an exciting Playday event  which was attended by James Thomas, the borough’s new Director for Children and Culture.

Our scheme newsletter will give more insight into the fun children had at the scheme and our offer to parents/carers.

Read more >

Parent Council Poster

Parents, have your say!

The voice of parents is very important. Have you considered joining one of our parent forums or networks? Parents can register to join the Parent and Carer Council, the borough’s main family forum which meets three times a year. Parents are welcome to come along, listen to other parents and key speakers and give their views about services that are available to parents across the borough. 

Parents can also join our Dads’ Network or our Somali Parents and Carers Network and there are opportunities to become active parent volunteers, including becoming a SEND Parent Ambassador or supporting other parent champion programmes.

 Get involved >


Return to School Workshops for parent of children with SEND - Sept 2020

Letter to Parents - 20th July 2020

News and information to support your work with families - July 2020


We understand the challenges of a busy family life and the additional pressures the long summer holiday can bring. This bulletin includes lots of information for keeping children safe and having fun.  

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.

Holiday Childcare Scheme fully booked

The Holiday Childcare Scheme is a popular provision and strives to support as many children and families as possible. Unfortunately, the scheme is now at full capacity and unable to take any further bookings.

If you require childcare this summer please contact your school before the end of term or contact the Family Information Service on 020 7364 6495 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm) for information on alternative provision in Tower Hamlets. 

Child using Ipad

Keeping children safe when online this summer

With schools closing for summer and the changes to all our lives due to Covid-19, children and young people are likely to be spending more time at home and online.

The internet is a fantastic way for children and young people to stay in touch with their friends and keep busy during the school holidays, but there are risks. It’s important that we talk to our children about staying safe online, about social media, apps and other sites they may be using.

The Parental Engagement Team have produced some tips for keeping children safe when online this summer.

Top tips here >


Design your own banknote

Looking for creative things to do over the summer holiday? Get your drawing pencils ready and take part in the Bank of England museum's drawing competition for five to 11-year-olds.

Children are invited to design their own banknote that celebrates where they live for a chance to win a selection of goodies. Winning designs will be featured on the museum website and their Facebook page. The closing date is Friday 14 August.

Get drawing >

young person taking a picture

East Summer School for young creatives

The East Summer School provides free creative learning opportunities for young people aged 12 to 17 who live in Tower Hamlets, Hackney, Newham, or Waltham Forest.

The summer school is launching on Monday 27 July and for the first time all the classes and events will be online.

There will be one-off classes and week-long courses as well interactive webinars for young people interested in the creative, tech and design industries.

Find out more >

Young child looking outside the window

Back to school worries?

Are you worried about your child’s return to school? Do you think they have fallen behind with their learning? Are you anxious about their safety and want to know more about how they will be kept safe at school?

The Parental Engagement Team is offering parents ‘Back to School’ virtual meetings. These meetings can be provided one-to-one or in small groups and give parents a chance to connect with others as well as discuss any concerns they may have with an experienced practitioner.

To find out more and to book your place, email parentalengagement@towerhamlets.gov.uk

Colouring pencils

Design our new Children's Safeguarding Partnership logo

The Tower Hamlets Children’s Safeguarding Partnership need a new logo to represent working together and having children and young people at the centre of everything they do.

The Partnership are holding a special competition to find the best logo design created by a young designers aged six to 16.

Simply draw your design idea and send a picture to LSCB@towerhamlets.gov.uk by Friday 31 July.

The winner will receive a £40 book voucher.

Image of a Women

Violence Against Women and Girls service directory

The borough now has an online Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) service directory.

This details information on how to help and refer people experiencing abuse, as well as perpetrators of abuse, to local and national specialist support services.

Find out more >


Let’s talk about racism

It can be hard to talk to children about racism. Some parents worry about exposing their children to issues like racism and discrimination at an early age. Others shy away from talking about something they themselves might not fully understand.

UNICEF have produced some advice for parents to start the conversation with their children, categorised into different age ranges.

Read more >

Adult classroom

The Somali Parents and Carers Network

The Parent and Family Support Service have been inviting Somali parents and carers to virtual meetings instead of the usual face-to-face meetings.

The network is a support group for Somali parents and a forum to share experiences relating to education, parenting and safeguarding.

To find out more or to join the Somali Parents and Carers Network, contact parenting@towerhamlets.gov.uk or call 020 7364 6811.

Children jumping

Summer activities 2020

Are you looking for fun things to do over the summer holidays? The Local Offer is here to help, with local information on upcoming events, activities and services, including any newly developed virtual offerings for children, young people and families. You should also look at the council’s Summer Events catalogue online.

Local offer >

Family Information Service Logo

Advice and support for parents, carers and guardians

The following support is available from the Parent and Family Support Service throughout the summer:

  • Advice, guidance and practical support for parents, carers and guardians, including information about Free School Meals
  • Parenting advice and access to online parenting programmes
  • Information, advice and support for parents, carers and guardians of children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)
  • Information and advice for school transition and appeals
  • Childcare brokerage and summer activities for children, young people and families

For more information contact the Family Information Service on 020 7364 6495 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm) or email fis@towerhamlets.gov.uk.  

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 >


Tower Hamlets Schools Newsletter 13th July 2020 

News and information to support your work with families...

Please see the new monthly Parent and Family Support Service Families Matter e-newsletter with bite-size messages for parents and carers.  

Do share with the families you work with.  You can sign up to receive the e-newsletter and other children and education news from the council here: 


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.

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 >


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.

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 >

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 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 >

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 >

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 >

Tower Hamlets Holiday Childcare Scheme - 26/06/2020

Search the Local Offer for information about services available to children, young people and families in Tower Hamlets. www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/localoffer

 The Family Information Service number is also useful. Staff are available 9 – 5 everyday and can help parents ( and staff) find local events, activities and support.

Your guide to services in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets (Family Information Service – 020 7364 6495)

  Central Foundation Girls' School - Inclusion and SEND



Here is some information from Tower Hamlets to support our pupils and their families during the cornonavirus outbreak.



 Here is a  link to the guidance from Tower Hamlets (updated 02.04.2020) 


Follow this link to keep up to date with Tower Hamlets advice and support during the Coronavirus pandemic www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/coronavirus


Follow this link is to Government guidance for parents and carers on supporting children and young people's mental health and wellbeing during the coronavirus outbreak.


 Holiday childcare

Holiday Childcare is available to keyworkers from the Holiday Childcare Team

All updates and information for booking the Easter scheme can be found on the holiday childcare scheme website. 

Visit www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/hcs

 The holiday childcare scheme will be open between Monday 6 - Friday 17 April from 8am and 6pm.


Parent and Family Support Service

During this difficult and uncertain time, the Parent and Family Support Service understands that families are facing many challenges from having to juggle home-schooling to parenting while possibly working from home.

 In line with Government guidelines, we have cancelled all our group sessions until further notice.  However, we would like to reassure all parents and service users that we will do our upmost to ensure Tower Hamlets families are able to access appropriate local and national services.

 Advice and practical support is available for parents / carers from the Parent and Family Support Service:

Telephone    020 7364 6495        020 7364 6489        020 7364 6398          

(Mon – Fri, 9am – 5pm)


Healthy School Team

Click on the link below for regular updates about how to keep your family healthy in body and mind during the school closure.

Click here


Online directory of services in Tower Hamlets

Online directory of services and information for children, young people, families and professionals in Tower Hamlets

Visit  www.localoffertowerhamlets.co.uk  


Tower Hamlets - Support for students and families 

Storytelling - for students and their families 

With COVID-19 throwing up all sorts of big questions for us and our children, at HEC Global Learning Centre they’re talking about the pandemic in a different way, and they’re inviting children and families, learners and teachers to join the conversation.

Last week HEC started releasing short vignettes using the wisdom of stories, old and new, accompanied by questions (based on Philosophy for Children - P4C) to make some sense out of the situation

Releasing new story content every week, please click here.

Introducing healthSPOT 

 Spotlight is working with the Tower Hamlet's GP Care Group and other partners to provide young people in Tower Hamlets with a new remote GP service. This GP service is specifically dedicated to the well-being of young people and is open to them in the safe space of Spotlight. healthSPOT offers friendly, confidential medical appointments with a GP who is experienced in supporting young people with health needs.

Please find more information here.

Fun activities for families while at home

The Healthy Lives Team have put together a jam-packed edition this week, full of exciting activities that families can do together. This weeks' edition includes home learning inspired by the Tokyo Olympics, an update from the Healthy Start Team and a special edition including activities for Autistic pupils.

Storytelling content about COVID-19 for families in Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Somali and other languages too

In their first story, we meet a frog named Tiddalik in a time before humans had come to be. You can follow all three parts of the story on Facebook or Twitter or by going straight to our YouTube channel. Please do subscribe to see future stories as they share.

In the near future, they hope to produce content in Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Somali and other languages too, so that they are alternating between English and other Mother Tongues. 

Any questions please contact Alia Al ZougbiAlia.alzougbi@towerhamlets.gov.uk

Lockdown ideas and activities from the Tower Hamlets Healthy Lives Team


Welcome to your new look Healthy Lives update.

The Tower Hamlets Healthy Lives team runs the Healthy Schools programme across all of the schools in our borough - primary, secondary and special. 

During the coronavirus pandemic, we are creating this newsletter to share exciting activities and fun ways for you to spend your time with your family. So, whether you're at home with your children, working from home or a key worker going to work, there's something for you.


Have you ever wanted a Blue Peter badge?

There are so many different Blue Peter badges, can you collect all eight? 

Here are a few examples of what you’ll find:

Blue badge

Blue badges are awarded for sending in interesting letters, stories, makes, pictures, poems, good ideas for the programme, and for having appeared on Blue Peter.

Green badge

Green badges are awarded for sending in letters, pictures and makes that are about the environment, conservation or nature.

Silver badge

Silver badges are awarded to Blue badge holders who go on to make an extra effort. For example, if you won a Blue badge for an interesting letter or email, you could win a Silver badge by sending in something different such as a make, picture or a poem.

Get your badge >

Online fun with friends and family

Arrange a video call to play games with your friends and family during lockdown. It's a fun and easy way to stay entertained, and keep in touch. You could play hangman, charades, sing songs together or just use your imagination.

Be inspired >

Cardboard construction project

If you have any cardboard tubes lying around (for example from a toilet roll or kitchen paper roll) how about making something from them...

  • How tall, or how wide, can you build?
  • Can you recreate one of your favourite buildings in London?
  • Or, can you build a landmark from another city or country?
  • What else can you use to build? (Clue: an old cereal box or tissue box, an online delivery package, and lots more!) 

  Get building >

Learn to draw the 'Gregosaurus'

#DrawWithRob is a series of draw-along videos that you can watch with your kids and, hopefully, make some nice pictures together. 

Get drawing >

Coronavirus updates and advice

The council is supporting the nation's efforts to tackle 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 >

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 >

Tower Hamlets Healthy Lives UPDATE 05/05/2020

Here are lots of exciting activities for you to try with your family or at your school, and to share with your friends. Whether you're at home with your children, working from home or a key worker, there's something for everyone.

The stage is set: let's dance!

(Ages five to eight)

Explore the Royal Opera House and discover how to make a short dance all about YOU. If you're really happy with your dance, don't be shy - take to the stage and share your 'me' dance on social media using #OurHouseToYourHouse

Let's Dance ! >

Make your own Royal Opera House stage


All the sets for ballets and operas that appear on the stage at the Royal Opera House are designed by a set designer. For each show, the set designer makes a miniature version, so that all the people who build and paint the set and scenery, as well as all the performers, can see what the stage will look like. Your challenge now is to make your own stage model in 1:100 scale. This means that it will be one-hundred times smaller than the real thing!

Build your own stage ! >

'Baffled' about ballet?


Fall down the rabbit hole and learn how to make a short dance about being ‘baffled’, inspired by Alices’ Adventures in Wonderland. At the beginning of Alice’s adventure, she is distracted from her family outing by the sight of a White Rabbit scurrying down a rabbit hole. Alice is baffled, and cannot resist following the rabbit. So, down she goes.

Discover Alice in Wonderland ! >

Gretel's invitation

(Upper primary)

Learn what an opera is, discover how to warm up your voice, and start learning a song from Hansel and Gretel. Hansel and Gretel is an opera based on the fairytale of a brother and sister who are sent off by their mother to look for food in the forest, where they discover a magical gingerbread house. Little do they know that living within this edible house of wonders is a terrifying and hungry witch.

Meet Hansel and Gretel ! >

Mind Angel's free mental health course


What goes on in your mind can have an effect on your body. This free six-week course will explore mental health, it's value in our lives, and how to use and manage your mental health so that you feel more in control.

The first session will be repeated on Wednesday 6 May and each session will take place on a Monday and then be repeated on a Wednesday thereafter.

Sign up for free ! >

If you know anyone who would like to sign up to this newsletter, please send them the following link. They will need to choose Children and Education as their preferred topic:


Take care,

The Healthy Lives team at London Borough of Tower Hamlets

 Tower Hamlets Council Holiday Programme - FUNDING OPPORTUNITY

 Please see below message from Dominic Hinde

Dominic Hinde
Tackling Poverty Team Leader

London Borough of Tower Hamlets
020 7364 5968 

Applications are now open for schools that wants to participate in the Tower Hamlets Healthy Holidays scheme, which runs from Wednesday 22 July to Monday 31 August 2020. The deadline for applications is 9am on Tuesday 26 May 2020.  As this date falls during half term so maybe it would be better if you applied by Friday 23rd May before you break up for half term. 

The scheme will fund schools and community organisations to deliver holiday clubs to school-age children. These must provide healthy meals, physical activity and nutritional education, while preparing children to return to school in September. 

Funding is available to any organisations that run a free holiday scheme for a minimum of four hours per day, four day per week and for four weeks between 22 July and 31 August.

 Clubs must be targeted to free school meals eligible children, and extra funding is available for SEND-focused provision. 

For more information visit our website, and to apply please visit the East End Community Foundation website.

Tower Hamlets Healthy Lives UPDATE 14/05/2020

The sound of laughter

Check out the BBC's comedy podcast library. Sit back, relax and enjoy some time to yourself.

Tune in ! >

Yoga with Adriene (and Benji!)

Getting back to the true you can be simple. Yoga offers a way for us to see a world that is working for us instead of against us. It reminds us that everything is connected, so we must live, act and breathe with awareness. Benji is Adriene’s dog, will he appear in a video?

Stretch ! >

The 'Zentangle' method

Rick Roberts is a former Buddhist monk who jointly developed the 'Zentangle' method of drawing patterns, which she says offered her "freedom and well-being and complete focus". Sound good to you? Take a look at the eight-step Zentangle Method now.

Learn more ! >

Seven foods that might lift your mood during lockdown

As the UK continues to adjust to daily life amid the lockdown, it is more important than ever that we look after our minds and bodies. 

Lift your mood with food ! >

Celebrating fifty years of the Roundhouse

To celebrate 50 years of the iconic London music venue, the Roundhouse, check out these five surprising music videos that you may not have known were filmed there.

The videos range from a Bauhaus’ Gothic take on David Bowie to Victoria Beckham’s forgotten garage anthem...

Celebrate ! >


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 

Idea Store for Children - 18/06/2020

Your Idea Store or library may be closed, but you can still do all of your favourite things online!

We've got:

Story Time Online

New videos at 10:30am, Monday - Saturday!


Art Club Challenge

Take up our weekly challenge and get your pictures on the Idea Store website!


Children's eBooks and audiobooks

Get the latest e-books and audiobooks for FREE with your Idea Store Card
Discover the Children's eLibrary


Family Fun

Loads of fun activities from your favourite authors and publishers!


Coming soon...

Silly Squad - the digital Summer Reading Challenge!