Important Coronavirus – Key Workers update
Friday 20th March (8:00am)
In the early hours we finally received notification of what constitutes a key worker and guidance around who can be offered childcare provision. The Government make it very clear that to reduce the risk of the spreading of Covid19, where possible children should stay at home, regardless of parental occupation however, for some frontline staff where this is not possible then childcare provision will be made by schools.
The guidance states:
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:
- If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
After considering the highlighted sections, if you fall into one of the occupations outlined below and cannot make arrangements for your child to stay safely at home then your child can access childcare provision in school from next week. School is currently drawing up plans for a rota of a ‘skeleton staff’ to support this as we too try to encourage our staff to stay at home with their children where possible to reduce risk. Our operating hours for children will be 8:50am to 3:30pm. There will be no after school clubs during this period, however the wraparound provision is planning to still run for those who qualify. If this is something that you would like to utilise please contact Jan on 0191 2533452.
Those occupations of parents whose children can attend if they cannot stay at home are:
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.
For the Governments strategy to be effective, it is vital that only those children who have to be in school are in from next week. We are very keen to support our community and the fight against Covid19 and we really appreciate that lots of people are now having to take difficult decisions. If you believe that your occupation is one of these frontline essential services and that you cannot otherwise keep your child at home, then please can you let us know today (or confirm if you have already been in contact yesterday) indicating the care you need across the next two weeks. Should you require out of school provision, please also indicate this with the times needed.
As requested yesterday, if you feel that you do qualify please contact us by email firstname.lastname@example.org rather phoning as the lines are extremely busy as I am sure you can understand.
As always, thank you for your continued support. I will be I further contact later on today when we can share more information and formalised plans for the coming days and weeks.
Mr. T Jones