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Southwood Primary School

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Support for Key Worker and Vulnerable Children

Key Worker Children: Update - 27/03/20

The school is open to support parents/carers of key workers if they do not have any alternative childcare from 8.00 to 16.00 each week day. It would be really helpful if parents/carers of key workers can give the school an outline of their requirements for the following week by 4pm Friday of the week before so appropriate staffing arrangements can be made. If possible, please give as much notice as possible for the two week period over the Easter holidays, particularly the bank holidays should you need our support. Please email: office@southwood.bardaglea.org.uk with your requirements if you have not already informed the school, thank you.

Support for Vulnerable Children

The school is open to support vulnerable children during this period. 

EHC pupils

Our Inclusion team will contact you to offer respite sessions in school. These sessions will usually be 9.00 to 12.00 or 13.00 to 16.00 across the school week with a limited number of pupils in school for any given session due to limited staffing capacity. We do not plan to offer these sessions over the two week Easter holiday period, however if you are in urgent need of support during this time, please contact us and we will provide appropriate support wherever possible.

If you have not heard from our Inclusion team or need to contact us, please email inclusion@southwood.bardaglea.org.uk.

Pupils with social worker support

Our Safeguarding team will liaise with the identified social worker and you will be contacted to agree support plans over this period. These plans may change as time goes on. Where it is agreed that your child attends school during this period of closure, it will usually be for a morning (9.00 to 12.00) or afternoon session (13.00 to 16.00) on specified days agreed between you, the school and the social worker. We do not plan to offer these sessions over the two week Easter holiday period, however if you are in urgent need of support during this time, please contact us and we will provide appropriate support wherever possible.

If you have not heard from our Safeguarding team or need to contact us, please email safeguarding@southwood.bardaglea.org.uk.

Support for Key Worker Children

Guidance for schools, childcare providers, colleges and local authorities in England on maintaining educational provision

As a country, we all need to do what we can to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus. That is why the government has given clear guidance on self-isolationhousehold isolation and social distancing. And the most recent scientific advice on how to further limit the spread of COVID-19 is clear. If children can stay safely at home, they must, 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.

 

It is important to underline that schools, all childcare settings (including early years settings, childminders and providers of childcare for school-age children), colleges and other educational establishments, remain safe places for children. But 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. Schools, and all childcare providers, 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. We know that schools will also want to support other children facing social difficulties, and we will support head teachers to do so.

 

Parents whose work is critical to the COVID-19 response include those who work in health and social care and in other key sectors outlined below. 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 must be.

 

Please, therefore, follow these key principles:

  1. If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they must be.

  2. If a child needs specialist support, is vulnerable or has a parent who is a critical worker, then educational provision will be available for them.

  3. Parents should not rely for childcare upon those who are advised to be in the stringent social distancing category such as grandparents, friends, or family members with underlying conditions.

  4. Parents must also do everything they can to ensure children are not mixing socially in a way which can continue to spread the virus. They must observe the same social distancing principles as adults.

  5. Residential special schools, boarding schools and special settings continue to care for children wherever possible.

 

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:

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 childcare, support 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.

If your school is closed, then please contact your local authority, who will seek to redirect you to a local school in your area that your child, or children, can attend.

 

We are grateful for the work of teachers and workers in educational settings for continuing to provide for the children of the other critical workers of our country. It is an essential part of our national effort to combat this disease.

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