Dear Parents / Carers, 

Supporting Children of Key Workers in Special Schools

Yesterday evening the Minister for Education in Northern Ireland, Peter Weir MLA, made a statement outlining how schools will close to pupils from the end of the school day, today Friday 20th March, however, will open to staff on Monday 23rd March to support identified Key Workers and sustain children’s distance learning.  We want to ensure that we support the children of key workers in a similar way across our schools, however we need to balance this with the ultimate aim of reducing the spread of the virus by trying to keep the number of children in schools to a minimum, in line with public health guidance.  

It is important that we are aware of how many children of key workers will be attending school next week.  With this in mind, if you are an identified key worker, with no other child minding provision, please make contact with the school as soon as possible to inform us that your child will be attending school from Monday 23rd March.. This must be confirmed by 3pm today via phone (02840662357) or email (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

Before contacting school, please pay particular attention to the following points.  Schools will not be able to operate a ‘normal’ school day.  Many of our schools are already operating with a significant reduction in staffing and this will probably continue to get worse over time. 

Points to consider 

• A list of key workers, issued by the Department of Education is listed overleaf.  Only children with BOTH parents working as key workers, and both parents out at work at the same time should consider attending school.  In single parent families, the individual parent MUST be a key worker. 

• If possible, alternative childcare arrangements should be sought before deciding to send your child to school.  For example, with other family members, friends etc.  Please try and use school as a last resort.  This is to try and limit the number of children and adults together in a small space in line with recent social distancing guidance. Our school’s normal opening and closing time will apply, at this stage.

• Children attending will be required to wear their school uniform.  Please be advised that our school will be performing childcare duties, rather than teaching, as not all teachers are currently available. However learning packs have been provided for all children.

We would ask that you pay attention to the points outlined above before deciding to send your child to school.  Obviously, it goes without saying, if your only option is to send your child to school, we will look after them in order to support you in your important role. 

Yours sincerely, 

A Archer