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Covid-19 [Coronavirus] update 6: government publish key worker definition

Dear Parents/Carers


The normal running of our school will end this Friday, 20th March.


As advised by the government, we will re-open on Monday, 23rd March but only for pupils who are identified as children of key workers & those classed as being in vulnerable groups [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]. Going forward, this is obviously dependent on having suitable numbers of teachers & TAs to staff the school.


The government has now released the official definition of who a key worker is. I have copied this information below:


Schools 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. We know that schools will also want to support other children facing social difficulties and we will support head teachers to do so.


Parents whose work is critical to the COVID-19 response include those who work in health and social care and in other key sectors outlined below. Many parents working in these sectors may be able to ensure their child is kept at home. And every child who can be safely cared for at home should be.


Please, therefore, follow these key principles:

  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.
  5. Residential special schools, boarding schools and special settings continue to care for children wherever possible.

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 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.
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.
If workers think they fall within the critical categories above they should confirm with their employer that, based on their business continuity arrangements, their specific role is necessary for the continuation of this essential public service.

In light of the information above, I would ask you to contact the school office (01704 876444 / if you feel that you meet the criteria to qualify as a key worker. Please do this by the end of the school day today (Friday). I am asking you to do this so we have an approximate idea of how children will coming to school next week. If you cannot contact school today for any reason, we will accept your child on Monday as long as you meet the criteria. The Department for Education has clarified that only one parent needs to be classified as a key worker for families to access school from Monday 23rd March.
From Monday 23rd March, school hours will be as normal 8.50am until 3.10pm (infants) & 3.20pm (juniors). Nursery hours will be 09.00am – 11.30am or 3pm, if needed.
Woodlands’ staff will operate a ‘wraparound’ care service, from 7.50am until the start of school & from the end of school until 6pm. This will be free of charge, but please do not use this unless your shift patterns make this necessary. I envisage that we will be able to be flexible with when your child attends, so if you are able to care for them at home some days that would be fine – just keep us informed!
I request that you enter the school building through the main office entrance & pick your children up from there too. This may change once we see how it works…
I suggest you send a couple of snacks in with child for morning & afternoon breaks.
If you would like your child to stay for a school lunch, the cost will be £2.10 per day, if not you can send your child with a packed lunch. Children on free school meals will receive their meals as usual if they are attending school. If your child usually receives free school meals, but will not be in school from Monday, we will also be in touch with more information about how this will continue to be provided.
ALL children should NOT attend at all if they or any of your family exhibits any symptoms as previously noted in detail. Self-Isolation applies here.
Thank you again for your continued support, and we will be in touch with more information when we can.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the staff at Woodlands for their support & the incredible attitude they have shown in wanting to do what is best for the children & families at our school.
Just to reiterate, we will be open on Monday 23rd March but only for the children of key workers.
Yours sincerely
KD Williams