20th March 2020
Coronavirus / Covid-19 – plans at Berkeley Primary School
Dear Parent and Carers,
Thank you for bearing with me at this very challenging time. We have been trying to work as fast as we can, whilst trying to make sure we have thought of as much as we can, so that we can give you the detail you need to plan.
Berkeley Primary School will be closed as from 3.15pm on Friday 20th March, 2020 for MOST children until further notice.
School will be open to some children which includes key workers’ children and vulnerable children. By vulnerable children, we mean those who have a social worker and those with Education, Health and Care Plans – a legal document that describes a child’s special educational needs and the support they require. This is following the guidance given by the Department for Education. Children who do not fall into these two groups should remain at home with "appropriate care".
If you fall under this category you will already have had a telephone call from Alison Neall (Vulnerable children - Family Worker) or Teresa Suddaby (EHCP – SENDCO). If you thought you fell into this category but have not had a call, then you do not.
Your children will be able to attend school normal school hours, 09:00 to 15:15. We expect all children to be collected promptly.
The list of Key Worker is at the bottom of this letter. We will be opening for Key Workers children to be looked after from 07:45 – 09:00 (Breakfast Club),then 09:00 – 15:15 normal school day. If you would like to use the Breakfast Club this will need to be paid for as normal on ParentPay.
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. Schools are therefore being asked to continue to provide care for a limited number of children - children whose parents are critical to the Covid-19 response. Many parents working in these sectors may be able to ensure their child is kept at home. And every child who can be safely cared for at home should be.
If your work is critical to the COVID-19 response, or you work in one of the critical sectors listed below, and you cannot keep your child safe at home then your children will be prioritised for education provision. The highest priority, therefore where we will allocate places, is where BOTH parents are key workers or where a SOLE PARENT is a key worker.
If you think you are eligible and would like to apply for a childcare place at school, please go onto ParentPay and complete the form on there ASAP. You will be informed if your application does/doesn't meet the criteria, but this may be at the weekend. We will offer places based on our capacity, our capacity may change over the coming weeks.
Those that can attend school
A further letter will be sent to parents of those children eligible to attend school to let you know the arrangements.
This will be a very different type of provision than schools usually provide; for these pupils, it will be about care, not education. This is about keeping children safe and allowing key workers to go to work and care for the sick, or to keep food supply chains moving. All expectations regarding educational provision have been lifted. Schools that provide this care will be free to determine what the provision looks like and what they deem to be best for the pupils they are supporting.
Please continue to bear with us and be assured that we are doing our very best to respond to this rapidly evolving situation in the interests of everyone in our school community and beyond.
We have also been advised that, ‘where possible, we would encourage settings to also look after throughout the Easter holidays.’ This is something that we are aiming to achieve and will let the relevant families know nearer the time.
Thank you for your continued support and understanding. Each and every one of you are in my thoughts. Keep safe and healthy.
GOVERNMENT DEFINITION OF KEY WORKER PUBLISHED 19.3.20
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.
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.