We have been notified that the guidance the Local Authority agreed yesterday with the Department for Education around support for parents from Monday onwards, has been superseded and this letter outlines the current position (March 20th am).
The most recent scientific advice on how to further limit the spread of COVID-19 remains clear. The government have requested these key principles are followed:
The Government has requested that all schools provide optional care for a limited number of children. These are:
All other children will need to stay at home, so we ask that you do not send your child into school from Monday onwards.
The government has also published an updated list of key workers which is attached to this letter. The guidance has also been revised to outline that this support is for children with at least one parent or carer who are identified as ‘critical workers’ by the government.
We have made every effort to contact all parents/carers on the telephone today, but if we have not been able to get through to you please complete the form on the end of the letter which is attached and return it to us or ring the school as soon as possible.
I want to reiterate the key message about the closure plans: Every child who can be safely cared for at home should be. We absolutely understand that families are worried about being able to work but these are extraordinary times and we are all having to make some very difficult decisions and sacrifices. However, with the challenges we face with our own staff and the national social distancing policy, we wish to minimise any risks and the number of students attending should only be in circumstances where it is essential.
This remains an ever-changing situation and the position may well change again in the future. We will continue to update you as the need arises.
I wish to thank all our school staff, volunteers, and governors who have helped in recent days to keep the school open, and who will continue to do so over the coming months. I would also like to thank you for your continued support and understanding during this period.
Definition of Key Workers
Health and social care
This includes (but is not limited to); doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers, care workers and other frontline health and social care staff including; volunteers, the support and specialist staff required to maintain the UK’s health and social care sector, those working as part of the health and social care supply chain, including producers and distributers of medicines and medical/personal protective equipment.
Education and childcare
This includes; nursery and teaching staff, teaching assistants, support staff, social workers and those specialist education professionals who must remain active during the COVID-19 response to deliver this approach.
Key public services
This includes; those essential to the running of the justice system, religious staff, charities and workers delivering key frontline services. Those responsible for the management of the deceased, and journalists and broadcasters who are providing public service broadcasting are to be included.
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 arm’s 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 and other national security roles, including those overseas.
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.