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Urgent Coronavirus Update

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: KEY WORKERS

Dear Parents/Carers, 

As the Government continues to roll out its strategy to push back the coronavirus pandemic, it has now required all schools to close after today (Friday).

As a school, we wholeheartedly understand that this may pose significant financial and logistical difficulties for many of our families, however, it is important that our school community understands and is fully supportive of the fact this school closure is in place to significantly reduce the risk of the COVID-19 virus spreading by allowing social distancing to take place. 

The Government has asked schools, where they can, to remain central in its plan to manage this complicated situation.  

We will be rising to that challenge and are now focusing our positive energy on ensuring provision is in place for the pupils who need it. This means that, after Friday, it is the government’s expectation that the majority of pupils will be at home. A small number of pupils will be invited into school for an offer of childcare. The guidance is very clear:

Schools are, therefore, being asked to continue to provide care for a limited number of children - children who are vulnerable and children whose parents are critical to the Covid-19 response and cannot be safely cared for at home.

Vulnerable children include children who are supported by social care, those with safeguarding and welfare needs, including child in need plans, on child protection plans, ‘looked after’ children, young carers, disabled children and those with education, health and care (EHC) plans.”

 

Key Workers:

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.

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.

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.

Parents/carers will need to tell us urgently, by no later than 1pm today, if they consider that the adult(s) in their child’s home are key workers and if there is not provision to safely care for them. Therefore, there is a need for their child to be looked after by the school.  Please send an email to the School Office email address: office@beaminsterstmarys.dsat.org.uk in order to request a place at school during the next week. Please include all relevant, qualifying information about your key worker status when you book: Key worker category, job title and place of work. Please also provide details of working patterns which would normally fall between school opening times, to that we can gauge what level of childcare provision is required. 

Schools will then contact parents/carers on Friday afternoon to explain the arrangements for bringing your child into school next week. Please note that parents/carers should not bring their children to school from next week unless they have been explicitly invited to do so. Parents/carers should note that this ‘minimal service’ provided from Monday - it is to ensure that, first and foremost, those children attending school are cared for and most importantly, it allows ‘key worker’ parents and carers to attend work.

Please understand that although the school is committed to supporting the provision of these key groups of children, it is also working hard to limit and reduce the opportunity for the further spread of this infection. This also includes protecting the health and welfare of our own staff and their families.

 

We are reliant on everyone adhering to the strict guidance in this letter: those pupils of working key workers who cannot be safely cared for at home.

 

Attached to this letter is a guide with additional information for parents/carers.

 

If you have any questions, please contact the school and we will be happy to help.

 

Your support and on-going communication is appreciated in these difficult circumstances. Thank you.

 

Please stay safe and keep well.

 

With best wishes

 

Mrs Barnett 

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