COVID-19 Update Letter – 20.03.2020
20th March 2020
You may be aware that overnight the Government has published definitions of key workers. Whilst I communicated with you yesterday I feel it is responsible to ask you again to self-identify if you are part of this group. As I said once we here in school have accurate information we will be in a better position to plan accordingly, particularly with staff self-isolating. We here will do everything we possibly can to remain open. You will appreciate that we need to risk assess the situation on a daily basis with regard to staff absence. If it is the case that we cannot open due to severe staff absence I will notify you accordingly.
The Government guidance is clear that if it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be. However, as parents, you 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. Additionally, you as parents should also do everything you can to ensure your 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.
If your child needs specialist support, is vulnerable or has a parent who is a critical worker, then educational provision will be available for them. We have already contacted all of our students who fall under this and will continue to communicate with them. For your information, the Government has identified children as vulnerable if they have a social worker or if they have an Education Health Care Plan. We have already made contact with you if your child is considered vulnerable and are making plans with you.
The Critical Worker Categories are:
- Health and social care – any frontline professionals and support staff required to maintain the health and social care services including supply chain (producers through to distributors).
- Education and childcare – nursery and school staff and those required by schools to deliver this approach.
- Key public services – those involved in justice systems, religious staff, journalists, broadcasters and those working with the deceased.
- Local and national government – Essential administrative occupations for delivering the response or essential public processes such as benefits payments.
- Food and other necessary goods – food and other key goods supply chain from production through to delivery (including sales). Other key good examples include hygiene products.
- Public safety and national security – Emergency services, MoD, critical armed forces, national crime agency, border security, prison and probations staff including all appropriate support staff.
- Transport – those who will keep air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating including their associated supply chains.
- Utilities, communication and financial services – those providing essential financial services (including banks and finance infrastructure), oil, gas, electricity, water, IT and data infrastructure. Key staff in nuclear, chemical, telecommunication, postal services, payment providers and waste disposal.
Given this now more detailed breakdown by the Government of what a ‘key worker’ is, I am asking you once more to notify school if you are one of these workers and crucially, if you intend to send your child to school from Monday onwards. I must however repeat that the Government guidance is clear – If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be. Can I therefore ask you to email school at this address firstname.lastname@example.org by 1pm today.
I have been informed by Government announcements and Local Authority guidance that I should ask you for proof of employment if you are self-identifying as a worker in one of these groups. You will understand we need this information as quickly as possible in order to plan provision from Monday onwards.
Below I have also pasted links to Government information which you may also find useful.
Guidance for schools, colleges and local authorities on maintaining educational provision
Closure of educational settings: information for parents and carers
Mr P Woods