January 5, 2021 11.40 am This story is over 40 months old

Unless both parents are key workers pupils must stay at home, says Lincoln school

High demand for face-to-face-education

A Lincoln school has told parents and carers that pupils must stay at home unless both parents are key workers after a new national lockdown was announced by the government.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement on Monday said that primary schools, secondary schools and colleges must move to remote learning, except for the children of key (critical) workers and vulnerable children.

Robert Cowling, Headteacher at Fosse Way Academy, said in a message to parents and carers on Tuesday morning that he had received over 300 requests for places for children during the current lockdown. This was in response to a request for clarification on the status of critical worker families and vulnerable pupils.

He said: “This is a huge number, much higher than the original lockdown back in March.

“Due to staffing issues, and in our efforts to protect all members of the school community whilst offering quality home learning to those children not in school, I am now forced to require both parents to be critical workers before being able to offer a place to a child in school during the current closure.

“This also applies to children in our Nursery Class. Parents will be required to present a letter to their employer or an ID badge in order to confirm their status as a critical worker.

“Whilst it is regrettable that school is closed to many pupils, we have to acknowledge that the COVID-19 pandemic is at a grave point at the moment, and only by reducing our local community movements and contacts will we reduce transmission rates.”

He added that a form had been sent to parents and carers for completion by households where both parents are critical workers, or if there is one in a single parent family.

Who are critical workers

Parents whose work is critical to the coronavirus (COVID-19) and EU transition response include those who work in health and social care and in other key sectors outlined in the following sections.

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 distributors of medicines and medical and personal protective equipment.

Education and childcare

This includes:

  • childcare
  • support and teaching staff
  • social workers
  • specialist education professionals who must remain active during the coronavirus (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
  • 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 coronavirus (COVID-19) response, and the delivery of and response to EU transition
  • essential public services, such as the payment of benefits and the certification or checking of goods for import and export (including animal products, animals, plants and food), 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 coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and EU transition)
  • 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 and border

This includes those who will keep the air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating during the coronavirus (COVID-19) response and EU transition, including those working on transport systems through which supply chains pass and those constructing or supporting the operation of critical transport and border infrastructure 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 coronavirus (COVID-19) response
  • 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
  • waste disposal sectors