COVID-19: Duchess of Cambridge praises teachers' 'vital role' during lockdown

·2-min read

The Duchess of Cambridge has praised the "vital role" of teachers during the pandemic, emphasising how important it is that they are "looked after too".

As part of Children's Mental Health week Kate spoke to teachers from Ribbon Academy in County Durham about how they've been supporting pupils and their families during lockdown.

Place2Be, a charity that provides mental health support in schools, of which Kate is patron, has been working in the school since 2002.

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Talking to one of the teachers over a video call, the duchess said: "You play such a vital role in looking after our children. It's so important that you're looked after too and have the appropriate networks and support systems to make sure you can really do the best job you possibly can.

"I'm really glad that Place2Be is there [for you]. They're needed across the country more now than ever. I wanted to say a massive thank you to teachers across the country for doing fantastic jobs. It's been really hard work but please look after yourselves."

She spoke to Chris Reay, who's part of the Special Educational Needs team, and used to be a pupil at the school.

As a child he was helped by Place2Be after going through a traumatic event. He's now one of the members of staff who have completed a programme run by the charity that gives them training to identify children who may need help and give them ideas on how they can support them.

50,000 teachers and staff have completed the programme across the UK in the past year.

Talking to the duchess, Chris said, "I get to see some of these children who access Place2Be and I'm still using skills and things that the Place2Be team that worked with me used.

"Things like taking deep breaths, finding a quiet corner, or getting a good book, things like that, so it's really good to have the experience."

To mark the start of Children's Mental Health Week, Kate posted a video message stressing how crucial it is that parents and carers do little things to look after their own mental wellbeing. She filmed it herself while she was out exercising in Norfolk.