24 March 2020 00:31
Children of key workers are reportedly being turned away from the school gates today - the first working day after they closed their doors to help stop the spread of coronavirus. "My appeal to the parents of these children is that if you are a key worker and can have them looked after away from school please do so'." Firefighter Mark Atkinson tweeted Gov UK saying: "Hello, I'm a key worker and my child was refused entry to school today. Another said: "5 sets of parents will be getting questioned regarding their 'key worker status' at the school gates where my wife works today. "Lots of parents 'claiming to be a key workers saying 'I cant concentrate at home so the kids need a place at school! "My wife and her colleagues have been verbally abused by parents of non key worker's demanding their children are in school.
"We all want children who can safely stay at home to be there, while teachers look after the most vulnerable and children of key workers. While Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said initial feedback from members indicates that parents have listened to calls to use schools only when they have no option to keep children at home. The Government said children of so-called key workers - including medics, police and food distribution staff - are able to attend school so they can be looked after while their parents help in the fight against the virus. Guidance, issued on Friday, listed the relevant occupations and said children with "at least one parent or carer" who is considered critical "can attend school if required". He said parents need to be prepared that schools will have to prioritise and that not every child will get a place, a sentiment echoed by the National Education Union (NEU).
Teachers and staff have worked around the clock, getting information ready for home working, preparing children for distant learning and also setting up this provision for critical key workers. "We had to move quickly to plan for this week and at present all three schools are offering ongoing education support for key workers and vulnerable children. Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said: "Teachers, school leaders and support staff are on the front line, looking after the children of key workers and vulnerable children. Schools have been ordered to stay open this week only for the most vulnerable children and those whose parents are key workers. A Pets At Home spokesman said: "The letter we shared with colleagues was simply intended to help them, and teachers at their children's schools, understand what we believe to be the government guidelines.
NEW MINISTRY OF JUSTICE GUIDANCE: Clarification on legal practitioners covered by key worker category For the limited time required to deliver this work, a legal practitioner will be a key worker. As the Government has said, many parents who are key workers may be able to ensure their child is kept at home and every child that can safely be cared for at home, should be.