School Closure

Information for our key worker parents

Thank you for letting us know you are a key worker and require emergency childcare from Monday 23rd March.

On behalf of The Marches Academy Trust, we’d like to acknowledge and thank you for your contribution as a key worker during this unprecedented time. We are pleased to be able to help and support you during this National crisis.

From Monday, we are no longer technically a school as formal lessons and the school system of education has been suspended across the United Kingdom for the foreseeable future. We are now supporting the Government providing child care for key workers and vulnerable children.

With that in mind, we wanted to share with you our plans so far – these could very easily change with staffing reductions ourselves.

We expect our school minibuses will be running as normal for Monday – please be on time as usual.

Children must make their way to the school dining hall on arrival.

Dress – children can wear their own clothes and are not required to wear uniform. We will be doing a range of activities, some of which may involve crafts and paints so please dress accordingly and bring changes if needed.

Equipment – please bring a bag with own spare clothing / water bottle / reading material / pencil case /lunch and snacks as required. A reduced school menu will be available so please ensure you can pay in the usual way if not entitled to a free school meal.

8:00am – 08:30 a.m: Attendance recorded – we have to report daily to central government. Children must not arrive before 8.00a.m.

08:30a.m. – 3.30p.m: Activities that will vary daily. We hope to do a body coach session each day so clothing should allow for some physical activity. If a more complete PE kit is required, you will be advised on Monday when you will need this.

Lunch: If you are entitled to a free school meal, a reduced menu is available. Students can buy from the reduced menu so please ensure they can pay in the usual way or send a packed lunch.

3.30pm – 4:00p.m: Depart for home – children must be collected promptly so our critical workers can get home to their families. There will be no additional before or after school provision.

4:00p.m: School closed.

We must make you aware that children will NOT be socially distancing by nature for some of the activities and the children’s own natural behavioural patterns to congregate and socialise. In other words, the children will be nearer than 2m for longer than 15 minutes whilst in our care as they have been over the past month. I wanted to make that clear from the outset in case that influences your decision to request emergency child care.

The guidance still stands that even if you are a key worker and you have a provision for caring for your child at home, then this should take place. The school setting is for emergency child care of key workers and vulnerable children that have no other child care option (further information below)


The most recent scientific advice on how to further limit the spread of Covid-19 is clear. If children can stay safely at home, they should, to limit the chance of the virus spreading.

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.

It is important to underline that schools, all childcare settings (including early years settings, childminders and providers of childcare for school-age children), colleges and other educational establishments, remain safe places for children. 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.

Schools, and all childcare providers, are therefore being asked to continue to provide care for a limited number of children – children who are vulnerable, and children whose parents are critical to the Covid-19 response and cannot be safely cared for at home.

Vulnerable children include children who are supported by social care, those with safeguarding and welfare needs, including child in need plans, on child protection plans, ‘looked after’ children, young carers, disabled children and those with education, health and care (EHC) plans.

Parents whose work is critical to the Covid-19 response include those who work in health and social care and in other key sectors outlined below. Many parents working in these sectors may be able to ensure their child is kept at home. And every child who can be safely cared for at home should be.

Please, therefore, follow these key principles:

  • If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be.
  • If a child needs specialist support, is vulnerable or has a parent who is a critical worker, then educational provision will be available for them.
  • Parents should not rely for childcare upon those who are advised to be in the stringent social distancing category such as grandparents, friends, or family members with underlying conditions.
  • Parents should also do everything they can to ensure children are not mixing socially in a way which can continue to spread the virus. They should observe the same social distancing principles as adults.

Key worker information:

Health and social care

This includes but is not limited to doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers, care workers, and other front-line 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

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 front-line 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.

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), 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.


Our latest bulletins in relation to school closures can be found here:

19/03/20 Marches Academy Trust update

20/03/20 Marches Academy Trust update – please note the survey detailed in this bulletin has now closed.