Today marks the last day most schoolchildren will be sent to school in Southwark as part of national moves announced this week.
Last night the government published guidance on who a ‘key worker’ is during this crisis, and therefore can send their kids to school on Monday.
Vulnerable children can also be sent to school, says the Department for Education.
“If children can stay safely at home, they should, to limit the chance of the virus spreading,” says the government.
“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.”
LIVE UPDATES: Coronavirus in Southwark rolling blog – read here for all the latest updates throughout the day
Those with one or both parents listed as a ‘key worker’ can attend school. Key workers include:
- Frontline health and social care staff, such as doctors and nurses
- Some teachers “who need to remain active”
- Workers in key public services, such as the justice system
- Local and national government admin needed to deliver vital services
- Workers involved in the supply, distribution and sale of food
- Police, firefighters and armed services personnel
- Essential transport workers and postal and other communications
A-Levels, GCSEs and SATS have been cancelled following the outbreak, leaving confusion over grades.
The government has stressed that schools are still safe places for those whose children need to attend, and added that special care should be taken that children off school should not mix with those who are most vulnerable from COVID-19.
“It is important to underline that schools, colleges and other educational establishments remain safe places for children,” it said.
“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.”