I am sure you are aware of the Government’s announcement that all schools, colleges and early years settings will be closed to everyone except children of key workers and vulnerable children from Monday, as part of the country’s ongoing response to coronavirus.
Examples of these workers include NHS staff, police and delivery drivers who need to be able to go to work. Vulnerable children include those who have a social worker and those with Education, Health and Care Plans.
A full list of key worker categories will be published by the Cabinet Office today.
Children who do not fall into these groups should remain at home with appropriate care.
The implications of the government’s decision are far-reaching. We are hoping that some additional clarity to this advice will be provided during the course of the day.
As a Trust, we are asking our schools to begin the process of identifying which children will still be able to access our settings from Monday.
We are intending to run all of our school sites in the usual manner for the next two weeks, albeit only for children of key workers or identified as vulnerable.
This will ensure;
It may be that in the longer term we amalgamate school provision and staff.
We remain committed to ensuring we support the education of the children who access our schools and school leaders are working with their staff teams to provide resources for children who will remain at home in the coming weeks.
Finally, as a Trust, we are particularly concerned about the impact of school closures on those children who are currently eligible for benefits-related free school meals. Arrangements have been made to provide access to a meal for all those children who would normally benefit from this provision. Next week each school will provide these children with a ‘grab bag’ meal available for collection from their local school. Schools will issue local advice and guidance regarding this.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your continued support during this challenging and uncertain time.