20 March Letter to Parents

Dear Parent/Guardian


As our schools prepare to close to the majority of pupils from Monday, 23 March 2020, we wish to make arrangements, as directed by DE, for children of key workers.  Our school will be open in order to facilitate these children; a list of all who qualify is included below.


We request that all parents who are key workers, and who wish to avail of school provision next week, let the school office know by 3.00 pm, today 20 March 2020, where possible. This allows the school to plan staffing arrangements.


There will be a supervised study area available from 8.30 am – 3.30 pm for those pupils who are children of key workers.


Children attending will be required to wear their school uniform.  Please be advised that schools will be providing supervision, rather than teaching.  This will allow pupils to complete work set by their teachers or to engage in quiet study.


Advice on the Definition of Key Workers as issued by Department of Education 19/03/2020

Key workers are those who are maintaining essential public services during the Covid-19 response.  The definition of key worker will be flexible and dependant on the circumstance and requirements over the course of this critical period.  There will be flexibility shown on the definition of key workers to ensure all those who need support receive it.  The list is not prescriptive.  However, to give some guidance the following outlines the broad categories of what would be defined as a key worker;


  • Health and Social Care: This includes doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers, home carers and staff required to maintain our health and social care sector


  • Education and Childcare: This includes nursery and teaching staff, social workers and those specialist education professionals who will remain active during the Covid-19 response


  • Public Safety and National Security: This includes civilians and officers in the police (including key contractors), Fire and Rescue Service, prison service and other national security roles


  • Transport: This will include those keeping air, water, road and rail transport modes operating during the Covid-19 response


  • Utilities and Communication: This includes staff needed for oil, gas, electricity and water (including sewage) and primary industry supplies, to continue during the Covid‑19 response, as well as key staff in telecommunications, post and delivery, services and waste disposal


  • Food and other Necessary Goods: This includes those involved in food production, processing, distribution and sale, as well as those essential to the provision of other key goods (eg hygiene, medical etc)


  • Other Workers essential to delivering key public services


  • Key national and local government including those administrative occupations essential to the effective delivery of the Covid-19 response


If possible, alternative childcare arrangement should be sought before deciding to send your child to school.  For example, with other family members or friends.  Please try and use the school facility as a last resort.  This is to try and limit the number of children and adults together in line with recent social distancing guidance.


If you believe you meet the Key Worker criteria as set out by the Minister and would like your child to be considered for a place in the reduced provision we can provide, please inform the General Office by telephone or email by 3 pm today, Friday 20 March.  This will allow us to plan for school supervision.


Thank you to everyone working in frontline services who provide care, treatment and protection for the community.  We appreciate everything that you are doing.


Yours sincerely