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Key worker guidance for Derbyshire schools, non-school settings, parents and carers

We received the government’s key workers guidance on Friday 20 March 2020 and have provided it to headteachers and other non-school settings.

We will continue to issue further guidance as we receive it from the government.

We’re currently liaising with more than 1,000 educational and childcare settings across Derbyshire, including academies and independent schools, to provide support and advice.

They include:

  • nurseries and early years childcare
  • childminders
  • primary schools
  • secondary schools
  • special schools
  • further education colleges
  • independent providers

The latest guidance is as follows:

Finding an alternative school if a key worker's child's usual school is closed

We’re contacting all educational settings to find out which of them are making provision for key workers’ children and other children defined as eligible to attend to allow us to respond efficiently to the situation.

Where schools and other settings have decided to close fully and not make any provision we’re urging them to be creative about how they respond to this need, including to work with neighbouring schools and settings to provide some local provision.

As the local authority, we can urge and influence schools and other settings, including academies, to make provision available but has not been given additional powers to require them to do so.

Transport arrangements if a key worker's child attends a different school

We’re asking for school transport arrangements to continue as normal and may ask for some re-routing to collect children of key workers who are having to attend a school further away to help their parents manage their key worker commitments.

At this stage this is not something we can yet guarantee, particularly as schools begin re-opening from early June and parents and carers who have their own transport are being urged to be as flexible as possible to help us manage the situation.

Schools refusing to accept key workers' children unless both parents are key workers

The government’s guidance states educational provision should be made for a child where one parent is a ‘key worker’ as defined in that guidance.

As the local authority, we can urge and influence schools and other settings to accommodate children where just one parent is a critical worker but cannot force them to do so.

Our schools face an enormous logistical task in a rapidly changing situation and the vast majority are working hard to maintain provision where they can, while also acknowledging parents and carers’ concerns.

Schools are working quickly and have shown an enormous commitment to their children and communities.

We'd urge parents and carers to be patient, to support schools as much as possible and – where new flexible arrangements are put in place, for example, combining school sites – to respect those new arrangements.

We'd also encourage parents and carers to keep schools informed wherever possible, particularly around issues like part-time working if children are in school one day and off the next.

We'll continue to work closely with our schools and settings in what is an unprecedented situation.

Schools struggling to ensure that provision continues

Most schools have already managed to map out their plans for the coming weeks using reduced staffing, although some are struggling to do so due to low staff numbers or very low numbers of pupils expected to attend.

Special schools in particular are facing specific challenges and we’re continuing to work with headteachers and our sport and recreation providers to provide a wider offer for these young people over the coming weeks.

Letter to early years and childcare providers

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children and Families, Vicky Ford MP has written a letter to early years and childcare providers, the letter is attached to this page.