20th March 2020
Thanks for your patience in these uncertain and challenging times. We have considered the latest Government guidance to schools, parents and carers in relation to the ongoing COVID-19 emergency and we are writing to give you clarity about what is to be expected from Monday 23rd March 2020.
All Enquire Learning Trust academies will be closed to most pupils
This means that wherever possible, pupils should remain at home. It is essential that we minimise contact over the coming weeks to give the country a better chance of controlling the virus. Schools across the country are under huge pressure as staff fall ill or need to self-isolate. This means that we will need to keep our operation under review, and it is possible that the school will need to close if we do not have enough staff to keep pupils safe. We will keep you updated in relation to this.
Please keep in mind that you should not rely on childcare from those in the stringent social distancing categories such as grandparents, friends, or family members with underlying health conditions or are over 70 years of age.
The government recognises that some of your roles will be crucial in enabling the country to continue to function safely and effectively. If you work in one of the roles listed at the end of this letter, you will qualify as a critical worker.
Children with at least one parent or carer who are identified as critical workers by the government can send their children to school if required.
However, this does not mean you should automatically send your child to school. Remember, our aim is to minimise contact and limit the spread of the virus so that there is less chance of you or your child being infected. If you are a critical worker and can keep your child at home, then it is important you do so.
If you feel you qualify as a critical worker and wish your child to attend school, then we would ask that you provide proof of employment (and shift pattern where appropriate) either today or Monday morning when you bring your child to school. Alternatively, this could be sent to the school by email.
Please be aware that we may need to check the providence of this information.
For critical workers who work part time, we would expect your child to attend school on a part time basis. Again, we would ask that you share with us details of your hours of work should you wish your child to attend school.
Vulnerable pupils. A child is counted as vulnerable if they have a social worker or have an education, health and care plan (EHCP). We will expect vulnerable pupils to attend school as normal.
We recognise that this will mean that the majority of our pupils will not be attending school from Monday 23rd March until further notice. Please ensure that children are not mixing socially during their time away from school in a way that can continue to spread the virus.
We hope this gives you more clarity when making your decision around whether your child can or should be attending school on Monday.
We will maintain regular contact with you to keep you updated of any further information. This will include details around school meals, safeguarding arrangements and the curriculum we will provide for those pupils who will be attending school.
We recognise the challenges that the virus presents to us all and look forward to working together to reduce the risks to our children and families.
Chief Executive Officer of The Enquire Learning Trust
Definition of Critical Workers
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 distributers of medicines and medical and personal protective equipment.
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 (those critical to the delivery of key defence and national security outputs and essential to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic), 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.
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), information technology and data infrastructure sector and primary industry supplies to continue during the COVID-19 response, as well as 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 and waste disposal sectors