Coronavirus Information about Schools in Nottingham City
As a city, we all need to do what we can to reduce the spread of the Covid-19 virus. That is why a national decision has been made to close all schools from Monday 23 March.
This is an important step in slowing the spread of coronavirus.
The message is clear: if children can stay safely at home, they should, to limit the chance of the virus spreading.
However, we know that some people have jobs that are essential to the response to Covid-19. The government is calling these people ‘key workers’. We also know that some children are vulnerable and need to be looked after in school.
Children who have the option to continue in school
Schools are being asked to continue to provide care for a limited number of children. These are:
- Vulnerable children: those 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
- Children whose parents are critical to the Covid-19 response and cannot be safely cared for at home.
This is an offer to parents and carers and there is no requirement for parents and carers to send their children to school if they do not need or wish to do so.
For vulnerable children, your child’s school or social worker will work with you to assess the best option for your child.
This also applies to Early Years settings including Childminders, as well as Colleges.
Who are key workers?
A full list of the key worker categories is available on the Government website here but it includes:
- Health and Social Care: 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
- Education and childcare: nursery and teaching staff, social workers
- Key public services: justice system, religious staff, charities and workers delivering key frontline services
- Local and national government: administrative occupations essential to the effective delivery of the Covid-19 response or delivering essential public services such as the payment of benefits
- Food and other necessary goods: food production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery
- Public safety and national security: Police, fire, prison and probation and armed forces
- Transport: those who will keep the air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating.
- Utilities, communication and financial services: workers in banks, building societies, the oil, gas, electricity and water sectors (including sewerage), information technology and data infrastructure.
Key principles for staying safe
It is important to underline that schools, 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.
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 social distancing such as grandparents, friends, or family members with underlying conditions.
- Parents should 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.
- Residential special schools, boarding schools and special settings continue to care for children wherever possible.
Free school meals
Children who receive free school meals who continue to go to school will receive their meal as usual.
For those children who must stay at home, but who would normally receive free school meals, Nottingham City Council has worked with several major supermarket chains to operate a voucher or gift card scheme.
If your child is in receipt of means-tested Free School Meals, your school will issue you with a £20 voucher or gift card for food and groceries every 2 weeks it is closed due to the Coronavirus.
This scheme is coordinated by Nottingham City Council; however, each school will be responsible for communicating any specific arrangements to you.