RE: School Closure – Key Workers Update 

Dear Parents / Carers

RE: School Closure – Key Workers Update 

The key worker’s list has now been published by the Cabinet Office. We are now in the process of planning a skeleton staff for the coming weeks. As you will be aware schools will close today for the vast majority of students and work has and will be set as best as we can using our online systems. Details regarding this have been sent out previously.

Schools are being asked to open for a very small number of children of key workers. These key workers, whose work is critical to the COVID-19 response, are outlined below. Many parents working in these sectors may be able to ensure their child is kept at home. Every child who can be safely cared for at home should be.

Please, therefore, follow these key principles:

  1. If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be.
  2. If a child needs specialist support, is vulnerable or has a parent who is an identified key worker, then educational provision will be available for them.
  3. 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 health conditions.
  4. 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.

If your work is critical to the COVID-19 response, or you work in one of the key sectors listed below, and you cannot keep your child safe at home then your children will be prioritised for education provision: 

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 distributors 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 COVID19 response or delivering essential public services such as the payment of benefits, including in government agencies and arm’s 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.

Transport

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.

Wherever possible we are asking that students remain at home to avoid unnecessary contact with other students and staff. However, if your child does need to be supervised we will need some details. Therefore, please ensure that you have notified us of your occupation using the key worker questionnaire that has previously been communicated with you.

For children of key workers who will not require childcare every day, we ask that you communicate this with us by email to office@ridgewaysecondary.org.uk with the name of the student, year group, and details by 4pm on a day by day basis.

I would emphasise that the government have asked us to open to supervise children. Please do not expect lessons to be taught as we will be working with the staff we have available on a rota basis to facilitate this in the best way we can, this includes through the Easter Half Term.

EHCP and vulnerable students

The school will be contacting you directly by phone or email.

Once we have an idea of the demand we will contact parents directly regarding the arrangements for next week.

Access to the school

Please note, it is NOT business as usual. In order to protect the well-being of staff who are being asked to put themselves at risk to support the country at this time, we will be putting in place some other measures:

  • Access for students to the school site will be at 8.45am and the school day will finish at 3pm, when students will need to be collected.
  • We will not be permitting any visitors on site. If students are being dropped off and collected we are asking this to be done from outside the school gates. No cars will be permitted to enter to collect.
  • Our ability to respond to queries is inevitably going to be limited. Please do not contact the school unless it is absolutely urgent.

School Uniform

Please note that we are not expecting our students of key worker families to be in school uniform when coming to the school.

School lunches and free school meals

If children coming in to school are entitled to free school meals, these will be provided. If your child is not entitled to a free school meal but is from a key worker family and will be requiring a school lunch this will be charged to your Parent Pay account.

For families who are entitled to free school meals but are not a key worker family we will be providing a food package for you to be collected from the school. The food packages will be available once a week and will provide sufficient food for each free school meal child. More details on the logistics of this will be provided early next week. In the meantime, please email office@ridgewaysecondary.org.uk by 12pm on Sunday 22nd March if you would like a food package.

Yours sincerely

 

Mr M Bennett

Head Teacher