Update – Friday 20th March 2020
Dear Parent and Carers
This has been a very difficult letter to write and one I never thought I would be writing. This communication confirms that from end of day today, Friday 20th March 2020 St. Peter’s Church of England VA School, along with schools across the country, will be closed until further notice.
The government have asked schools to provide child care for critical workers, so that there are essential services at institutions like the NHS which can continue to save lives. We will endeavour to do what we can for as long we are able and can maintain staffing levels to be able to keep children safe. As a country, we all need to do what we can to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
It is on this basis that parents are being told that every child who can be safely cared for at home should be and that schools to remain open only for those children who absolutely need to attend. The fewer children making the journey to school, and the fewer children in education settings, the lower the risk that the virus can spread and infect vulnerable individuals in wider society. This is not because schools aren’t safe, it is in order to slow the spread of the virus and hopefully lessen the impact of this terrible illness which is claiming more and more lives globally and in the UK.
Public Health experts are saying that schools need to stay at under 20% of their population for the strategy to work.
If workers think they fall within the critical categories below 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 have attached below the following guidance we received sometime overnight from the government.
We are now sending a questionnaire to help us plan staffing and activities for next week and beyond. If the circumstances are such that your child/ren need to come to school, please fill in the questionnaire via the link below and return by 1pm TODAY (Friday 20th March).
Apart from critical workers, the other group of children who are able to access child care through school are ‘vulnerable’ children. If your child/ren falls in this group, someone from school will be in touch on Friday 20th March.
Once we have a list and can begin to plan, we will update you as to operating times and conditions.
Thank you for all the support during this extremely difficult time. If we all play our part and follow the advice given, hopefully we will be able to return to school before the end of the school year.
Please look after yourselves and your families and I look forward to seeing you as soon as we are able to reopen.
Key worker List:
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.