The Department for Education has now published their list of key workers which identifies roles which are considered critical to the COVID-19 response. In summary these include:
The government states
If your work is critical to the COVID-19 response, or you work in one of the critical sectors listed, and you cannot keep your child safe at home then your children will be prioritised for education provision
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.
I am sure parents can appreciate that in order to continue to offer schooling to support parents who do qualify under one of these categrories I need to make some very difficult decisions based on priority needs and cannot offer care at the school to everyone.
I am appealing to all parents that even if you do meet the criteria you only access the school when it is absolutely needed; ie if you are working from home you keep your child/ren with you.
So the school is kept open for as long as possible, I need to keep the staff well and am praying we don't have too many needing to self-isolate. In order to do this I will be splitting them into teams with some working off site on some days so that we can try to limit the spread of illness. The school will be open for as long as we can keep children and staff safe.
I will contact parents by phone by 3pm today, if we are able to offer a place for your child/ren from Monday. Parents do not have to take up the place or can ask for flexibility and we will maintain the place for them.
If I don't contact you directly, I am sorry, but it means I will not be able to offer a place at the school from Monday. If you feel you do fit one of the critical criteria and have not been offered a place, I will ask you to provide a written statement from your employer stating why your role is essential to the COVID-19 response and will not accept children into school until this has been received and I have reviewed it.
The government's decision to close all school is part of a wider stratgey to slow down and manage the spread of this virus so that there is capacity to support those in greatest medical need. Therefore, having too many children in school will not help resolve this situation. Parents are reminded that vuilnerable relatives should not care for their child/ren.
This is the most difficult communication I have ever had to write to parents - please believe me when I say I am worried about you all and your family and would want all children in school. I am sorry I can't do that.