Coronavirus Update – School Closure

20th March 2020

Dear Parents/ Carers,

Re: Coronavirus update – school closure to most pupils

We have now received clarification from the government as to which children may come to school as from next Monday. There are two categories of children who we can accommodate in school:-

 

1) Vulnerable Children

The Department for Education states:

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.

If you are unsure as to whether your child falls into this category, please contact us.

 

2) Children of Key Workers

The Department for Education states:

If your work is critical to the COVID-19 response, or you work in one of the critical sectors listed below, and you cannot keep your child safe at home then your children will be prioritised for education provision:

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 and personal protective equipment.

Education and childcare

This includes nursery and teaching 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.

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.

Transport

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 Government has also advised the following:-

  1. If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be.
  2. If a child needs specialist support, is vulnerable or has a parent who is a critical worker, then educational provision will be available for them.
  3. Parents should not rely for childcare upon those who are advised to be in the stringent social distancing category such as grandparents, friends, or family members with underlying conditions.
  4. Parents should also do everything they can to ensure children are not mixing socially in a way which can continue to spread the virus. They should observe the same social distancing principles as adults.

 

Arrangements for Next Week

  • We are hoping that the bus will still run as normal but will need to confirm this when we are sure about staffing levels.
  • Breakfast club and after school club will run as normal.
  • After school clubs will not run.
  • The kitchen will provide lunches but the menu will be different from that published.
  • Pre-school children will be looked after by a qualified member of pre-school staff and will spend most of the time with older children. They will not receive the usual day-to-day provision.
  • Assemblies and special events will not take place.

 

More information will come out later today for parents of children staying at home.

If your child is classed as a ‘vulnerable child’, please let us know by Midday today if you cannot look after him/ her at home next week. Similarly, if you consider yourself to be a key worker and need your child to come to school next week, please complete the attached form and return it to us by Midday today so that we can make suitable plans for next week.

Many thanks for your support, and we will continue to update when we know more information.

Yours faithfully,

 

Mr Milne