Critical Worker Provision
Please read carefully
The current National Lockdown, including the closure of schools to most pupils, is a vital measure to reduce the number of contacts and drive down the alarming figures of Coronavirus infections and deaths. It is a huge ask of all in society to make changes and adaptations to what is 'normal' but is something that we must all do, to abide by the spirit of all government requests, to ensure that we are all safe. As a school staff we fully empathise with how challenging this can be, a number of our staff have primary age children and are keeping them at home; therefore balancing full time work with childcare. At such times adaptations have to be made such as prioritising aspects of the home learning or doing some in the evening and at weekends. We are always understanding of adjustments families are having to make.
Schools are places where representatives from many families can find themselves together and as such the risk of Coronavirus transmission between pupils and between pupils and staff must be safely managed.
With a new, highly transmissible strain now in the UK we have a duty to risk assess our school's operation and manage the numbers of people on site to protect everybody. We thank and applaud our families who have made huge adjustments to their working practices at this time to provide childcare, as by doing so you are supporting us all to be safe.
The government has provided some guidance to schools but the final decision on what is safe is down to each school individually and will reflect the uniqueness of each site and its demographic. We have a small site, largely open plan (with few physical barriers between bubbles) and no withdrawal spaces. Our risk assessment has set a maximum number per class bubble as 10 children and 2 adults (exceptions and further adjustments may need to be made to proritise vulnerable children, who must always have a place). This is 35% of our school’s number on roll.
In line with local authority guidance, applications for places from parents in critical worker roles will be considered on a case by case basis and must not be assumed. The school will always prioritise those where parents/carers are families with two critical workers or single parent families who are: Critical* local authority and public service workers, who cannot perform their tasks from home, front line health and social care workers, officers and staff from the police and fire service, school staff and early years staff.
*Critical – critical to the urgent the COVID 19 response
It is anticipated, given the current situation, that parents and carers won't apply for a place if one of them is not a CRITICAL worker, if one of them is/can be working from home, if one of them can adjust their shift patterns to be at home or if they have access to a friend or family member in their support bubble who can look after the children.
As the government has stated that 'if parents can keep their children at home they should', many parents have approached their employers for furlough at this time or have, if self employed, accessed the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS). The prime minister has stated that providing childcare at times of school closure is something employers must look favourably upon. To support working parents and self employed parents please see below:
Remote Learning Updates
Letters to Parents and Carers about the Start of the Spring Term
Clubs/Before School and After School Care