School is now closed to all children except to those of critical key workers who are expected to attend work during this pandemic.
Please make sure you have alternative arrangements in place for childcare for the foreseeable future. Please do not be offended if we challenge your claim to be a key worker - we are prioritising those whose work is critical to the fighting of COVID-19.
For those who do still require school child care, please speak to the school office in order so we can plan arrangements with you for dropping off and collecting.
Please ensure you school is the LAST RESORT for your child's day to day care. If you are working from home then please keep your child/children with you.
Department of Education 23.03.2020
We have asked parents to keep their children at home, wherever possible, and for schools to remain open only for those children who absolutely need to attend.
It is important to underline that schools, all childcare settings (including early years settings, childminders and providers of childcare for school-age children), colleges and other educational establishments, remain safe places for children. But the fewer children making the journey to school, and the fewer children in educational settings, the lower the risk that the virus can spread and infect vulnerable individuals in wider society.
Schools, and all childcare providers, are therefore being asked to continue to provide care for a limited number of children - children who are vulnerable, and children whose parents are critical to the COVID-19 response and cannot be safely cared for at home.
While as many schools as possible should try to stay open for eligible pupils, this will not be possible for all settings and the local authority should coordinate pooling of resources so pupils are able to access provision elsewhere.
The following Q&A should be read alongside the:
The first aim of the partial school closure measures set out by the Secretary of State for Education is to reduce the overall population of children moving around local areas as far as possible, in order to further reduce the number of social interactions and thus flatten the upward curve of the COVID-19 outbreak.
However, the second aim is to continue to care for children who are vulnerable, or whose parents are critical to the COVID-19 response, so that they can continue to work where alternative childcare arrangements cannot be made.
Children with a parent or carer who is listed on the government’s critical worker list should be considered for a school place, so long as their job cannot be done from home.
Many parents working in these sectors will be able to ensure their child is kept at home. And every child who can be safely cared for at home should be, to limit the chance of the virus spreading.
We will monitor closely the experience of schools in identifying critical workers and their capacity to respond to the needs of critical workers. Government is working with representatives of school leaders to ensure they have the clarity they need in identifying critical workers. We will publish updates to this guidance should it prove necessary to provide further points of clarification over the identification of critical workers.
Vulnerable children include those who have a social worker and those children and young people up to the age of 25 with education, health and care (EHC) plans.