Emergency school closures due to coronavirus (COVID-19)
All schools, early year’s settings and childcare providers are closed until further notice.
- Schools will care for children whose parents are ‘Key Workers’ if they cannot be cared for at home. This will be the case if one or both parents are classed as key workers, and there is no means by which to keep the child at home. Or in single parent families where the parent’s occupation falls within the key workers list.
- If it is possible for children to be at home safely, then they should be. Parents should not rely on, or ask for, childcare to be provided by anyone who should be stringently social distancing, such as grandparents or those with underlying health conditions.
- Schools will be asked to provide optional care for those children who are deemed to be vulnerable - see second bullet below.
- We have continued our conversations with professionals across the education sector, and are working closely with schools, early years and childcare settings, including childminders, to mobilise the actions resulting from the Government announcements. This has included working with schools to create educations packs and resources that will allow children to continue learning at home and online activity ideas for early years children.
- We will support our most vulnerable pupils, and yesterday we wrote to our schools and settings to provide clear guidance to ensure procedures remain in place to protect our most vulnerable children; which may include deploying our own Local Authority staff where resource allows.
The Department for Education has provided the following guidance - “Vulnerable children include those who have a social worker and those with education, health and care (EHC) plans. Children who have a social worker include children in need, children who have a child protection plan and those who are looked after by the local authority. Young Carers and Disabled children are also in this group. We will work with schools, early years providers, FE providers and local authorities to help identify the children who most need support at this time. We know that schools will also want to look to support other children who are vulnerable where they are able to do so.”
- In order to enable key workers to remain at work during this period, we will cater for their children in our schools, and will be closely monitoring the situation. We have worked with the Department of Education, the list of key workers can be seen on the GOV.UK website.
We will continue to offer our support and guidance to schools and settings.