I am sure many of you will have all seen the news regarding school places for critical workers and vulnerable children. This has recently changed and I have tried to summarise where we are now, following guidance from the Local Authority and the Government this morning, and will keep you informed of any further changes/updates.
Critical Worker – Place Allocation
The terminology has changed from ‘keyworker’ to ‘critical’ and the list of those included in the criteria that are able to access here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision. Some 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.
In addition to this, new guidance from the Government and the Local Authority, now states that children are entitled to a place at school if the family have difficulty engaging in remote/home learning because you do not have internet access or if there are not enough devices for large families-under the category of a ‘vulnerable learner’. It is important to stress that children cannot be offered a place because remote learning is tricky to manage at home. Everyone in school sympathises with you and appreciate how frustrating and challenging this situation is-it is not what any of us would want for the children in our care.
The Government and local authority advice is that, if children can stay safely at home, they should, to limit the chance of the virus spreading. That is why the Government has asked parents to keep their children at home, wherever possible, and asked 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 educational
settings, the lower the risk, that the virus can spread and infect vulnerable individuals in wider society. We are therefore providing 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.
We are still receiving a high number of critical worker applications so would ask you to check
the guidance carefully before applying. If you have already been allocated a place and after
reading this letter feel that you no longer need your critical worker place, please contact
myself, Mrs Duncombe or Mrs Chaplin. I appreciate that this is very difficult but know that this situation cannot last forever. Please continue to bear with us, we are doing our best to ensure we meet the needs of everyone within the ever-changing guidelines and advice that we are being given.