Key Worker Information Update
This week the Prime Minister and Secretary of State for Education announced that schools are to close at the end of today, Friday 20th March 2020, except for the children of critical workers (as defined by the Government) and pupils deemed vulnerable.
At this stage we don’t know how long this closure will be for but we are working on the expectation that it is likely to be for some time, and we are planning for the eventuality that it may last throughout the summer term.
We have been working on contingency plans in anticipation of this announcement and with two weeks of term time remaining, we want to reassure you that we will do our best to provide learning at home.
The key principles for schools from the Government guidance are:
- If it is at all possible for a child to be at home, then they should be.
- If a child needs specialist support, is vulnerable or has a parent that is a critical worker, then educational provision will be available to them.
Therefore, from Monday 23rd March the school will be open for our most vulnerable and children of critical workers. The school will be open from 8:30am to 3:10pm and students should attend school in full uniform.
Vulnerable children include children who are supported by social care, those with safeguarding and welfare needs, including child in need plans, on child protection plans, ‘looked after’ children, young carers, disabled children and those with education, health and care (EHC) plans).
Pupils who have one parent classified as a ‘critical worker’ are also able to come to school should they need to. However, schools are being closed in order to reduce the spread of the virus, so the guidance is clear that ‘If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be.’ So if you are able to organise childcare, or leave your children with people who are not over 70, on the medically vulnerable list or unwell, please do so.
Key workers include those who work in:
- Health and social care
- Education and childcare
- Key public services
- People who work in law, religious services, charities providing front line services, journalists, those that manage services for the deceased
- Local and national government
- This only includes those administrative occupations essential to the effective delivery of the COVID-19 response or delivering essential public services such as the payment of benefits, including in government agencies and arms length bodies.
- Food and other necessary goods
- This includes those involved in food production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery as well as those essential to the provision of other key goods (for example hygienic and veterinary medicines)
- Public safety and national security
- This includes police and support staff, Ministry of Defence civilians, contractor and armed forces personnel (those critical to the delivery of key defence and national security outputs and essential to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic), fire and rescue service employees (including support staff), National Crime Agency staff, those maintaining border security, prison and probation staff.
- This includes those who will keep the air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating during the COVID-19 response, including those working on transport systems through which supply chains pass.
- Utilities, communication and financial services
- This includes staff needed for essential financial services provision (including but not limited to workers in banks, building societies and financial market infrastructure), the oil, gas, electricity and water sectors (including sewerage), information technology and data infrastructure sector and primary industry supplies to continue during the COVID-19 response, as well as key staff working in the civil nuclear, chemicals, telecommunications (including but not limited to network operations, field engineering, call centre staff, IT and data infrastructure, 999 and 111 critical services), postal services and delivery, payments providers and waste disposal sectors.
The full list is published here:
Government Guidance for Parents on the closure of educational settings is published here:
Please do let me know by email firstname.lastname@example.org or return the attached form, if you fall into one of these categories and you intend to send your child to school as soon as you receive this letter, and certainly by the end of today.
All other children must stay at home from Monday 23rd March.
Pupils who are not at school will be provided with advice about continuing learning, throughout the period of closure.
These are unprecedented and challenging times but we are committed to your child’s education through our learning support and through caring for those who will continue to attend school.
We understand that this is a difficult time for everyone, so we would like to thank you in advance for your support in these difficult times.
Manshead CE Academy