The coronavirus pandemic means that UK schools are now technically closed for the foreseeable future - but not all children will home for the next few months.
Which key-worker children can still go to school?
Some children won’t be staying at home during the pandemic, with the government announcing that some teachers will still come in to help with the kids of key workers, who are required to be at work at the moment.
The Department of Education said, “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,”
So who exactly are the UK’s key workers – whose children will still go to school?
According to the government website, they include:
- Health and social care workers: This includes but is not limited to doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers, care workers, and other frontline health and social care staff
- 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, as well as other security staff.
- 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).
The government says, “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.”