Dear Parents and Carers
Critical Workers Update
As you are aware, as part of the new national lockdown, schools are closed for all children except those classed as Vulnerable or the children of Critical Workers (see guidance below). The purpose of school closures is to reduce the number of children in school thereby reducing the number of contacts and interactions between pupils and staff.
This week has seen a dramatic increase in the number of deaths and cases of Covid 19 nationally which is very alarming. As a community and a country, we all need to do what we can to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus. This week we have seen an increasing number of parents requesting places in school on the grounds of critical worker status. There are limited places in school for Critical Workers’ children as enhanced protective measures have been implemented which limits the number of children in each classroom area. At Crookhill, we are happy to continue to provide education for those families who absolutely need it but I would ask that you consider whether you need to send your child to school and if so, how often they need to be in school. If there is someone at home who is not a critical worker, they should look after your child. If you are a critical worker and you are working from home, carefully consider whether you are able to keep your child at home. Remember every child who can be safely cared for at home should be. The fewer people we have in school (pupils and staff), the less chances of transmission of the virus.
I must also inform you that should there continue to be an increasing demand for places then oversubscription criteria developed by Gateshead Council may have to be applied which will prioritise certain groups. There is a Key Worker form to complete (see key worker letter link below) so that we can ensure that places are being allocated fairly and appropriately. Please can I ask that you return your form as soon as possible, if you have not already done so.
These are challenging and worrying times for everyone. The purpose of partial school closures is to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus. I apologise for sending this letter out late this week but I had not anticipated the level of demand so I am asking you to only take up the place if absolutely necessary. I need to consider the safety of everyone in the Crookhill community and reduce the numbers in school wherever we can, so that we can prioritise our provision for our families who need it the most and keep both staff and pupils as safe as possible. Thank you for your continued support and cooperation.
Miss K. McCormack
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. Children with at least one parent or carer who is a critical worker can go to school or college if required.
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
- 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
- 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:
- 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
- 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
- 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