I am writing to inform you of an update the Department for Education have made over the last 24 hours to their Guidance regarding keyworkers.
Now we have our first very challenging week of the Spring Term over we are hoping to settle into our new routine of offering, as you are aware, in school provision for our vulnerable pupils and those from our key worker families whilst providing online remote learning to all our pupils at home.
What is clear from this week, however, is that the number of pupils eligible to attend school under the critical worker provision is much higher than during the first lockdown. We therefore need to ensure we can accommodate those most in need whilst recognising that we must continue to do everything we can to keep staff and pupils as safe as possible in school in light of recent Coronavirus developments. The extremely rapid rate of transmission of the virus at the moment means that we must do everything we can to protect our school community: pupils, parents and staff alike.
I must inform you that the new updated guidance from the Department for Education whist reiterating that children with at least one parent or carer who is a critical worker can attend school if required is that, parents and carers who are critical workers should keep their children at home if they can.
For our part, we must stress that as places in school for critical worker children are now at their maximum that you only take up a place if absolutely necessary. As a community we must ensure that there is space for our healthcare workers’ children and other vital roles that are actively helping to fight the pandemic. Many of our critical workers, particularly hospital and frontline medical staff, will be working additional hours and covering multiple shifts and we want to ensure we prioritise those with the most urgent need.
Accordingly, we are now asking you to review your need and consider only sending your child to school if it is absolutely necessary in order for you to carry out a critical worker role. We may need to ask parents/carers to provide further individual evidence of their critical worker status using published guidance. Parents should discuss any continuing difficulties with their own employer’s HR department.
It is our absolute desire to accommodate and support parents needs as far as possible whilst keeping children and staff in school safe, but just like other schools we are balancing very difficult priorities. While we have carried out all the relevant risk assessments and put the relevant procedures in place to keep children safe, clearly there can be little argument, that reducing the amount of children in school would reduce the risk of spreading infection.
Please take some time to review your own situation by considering your child’s attendance at school. Please send any updates as soon as possible to the school email account email@example.com or ring school on 01914898354. On this occasion please do not use Class Dojo, as it is important all notifications regarding attendance go through the school office.
Thank you in advance for your support with this very difficult matter, I am sure you will all agree and appreciate that the act of supporting yourselves, which is always a priority, and keeping our school community safe is indeed a very fine balancing act at this current time.