Letter to parents – Critical Workers

20th March 2020

Dear Parents and Carers,

Following my earlier letter with regards to the closure of the school from the afternoon of Friday 20th March, I can now provide an update on those who are defined by the Government as being eligible to access ongoing provision during this period.

As stated earlier, the Government has advised schools in England to close, except for certain groups of children, as a further measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to support frontline workers who are combating this outbreak.

From Monday 23rd March and through this closure period (including the Easter Holidays and until further notice), the school will be open for the following groups of students:

  • Children whose parents are frontline “critical workers”, which the Government defines as people working in:
    • 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 distributors 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 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 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.
  • Vulnerable children, whom the Secretary of State described as including:
    • 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 EHCPs (education, health and care plans).

If you think you fall within the critical worker categories above, the Government guidance says you should confirm with your employer that, based on your employer’s business continuity arrangements, your specific role is necessary for the continuation of the essential public service they provide.

This is an offer to parents and carers who are critical workers, and there is no requirement for parents and carers to send your children to school if you do not need or wish to do so. The Government guidance states that if your work is critical to the COVID-19 response, or you work in one of the critical sectors listed above, and you cannot keep your child safe at home, then your children will be prioritised for education provision.

For parents and carers of children who are within the ‘vulnerable children’ category, the school will contact you directly with further information.

FAQs for parents and carers from the Government can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers

If your child falls within the above remit and you require care provision during this time and you have not already contacted us, please contact the school to confirm via the school office by 12pm today.

Children who do not fall into the groups listed above should remain at home with appropriate care. As detailed in my previous letter, we will be providing home learning resources for your child.

Thank you once again for your ongoing support – it is hugely appreciated.

Yours sincerely,

Kate O’Connor

Head Teacher