I am a critical worker or have a vulnerable child but I do not want to send my child in to school or childcare, do I have to?
Many parents working in these critical sectors may be able to ensure their child is kept at home. Every child who can be safely cared for at home should be. 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 social worker will work with you to assess the best option for your child.
If only one parent or carer is a critical worker, can I send my children in to school?
Children with at least one parent or carer who are identified as critical workers by the Government can send their children to school if required. However, parents are reminded that if it is possible for their children to be cared for at home, they should make such arrangements. Any arrangements we make will be subject to change, and subject to our levels of staff who are fit for work. The Spencer Academies Trust has asked us to ensure parents understand we may need to prioritise those families where all parents are critical workers in order to keep essential services supported as best we can. Therefore, accommodating the children of families where only one parent of two is a critical worker may not necessarily be possible.
We already know some of our parents have critical worker status but we do not know that for all. Therefore, we will be asking parents to provide confirmation that they have critical worker status. We would ask that you bring or send some evidence to school e.g. a copy of your work photo ID, payslip, contract or similar. Ideally we would need receipt of these on Monday 23rd March and no later than Wednesday 25th March, to ensure continuity of care.
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. We will contact parents individually whose children we believe belong within these categories.
When will school be open to the critical worker children?
School will be open from 8am – 4pm initially but may be subject to change according to staff levels and numbers of students.
What will happen with free school meals?
We know that free school meals are important for many of our families.
To make sure eligible children can continue to be supported, the Government will give schools the flexibility to provide meals or vouchers to children eligible for free school meals. We are waiting more guidance on this but in the meantime, the Trust are providing Tesco food vouchers for families whose children are not attending school. Children eligible for free school meals who are attending school will continue to receive a meal – this may be a hot or cold meal depending on what staffing/pupil levels we have – and therefore will not require food vouchers.
If your child or children are eligible for free school meals but will not be attending schools from Monday, please call in to school to collect your vouchers when you receive communication they have been delivered – the initial allocation will be Tesco vouchers for 2 weeks up to Easter to the value of £25. Further information will be sent out about how we will provide support for families going forward after Friday 3 April, as the Government has indicated it intends to make arrangements for this.
If you or your child are unable to collect these yourself, please let us know who will collect on your behalf. This named person must provide the full name, date or birth, class or form teacher for the pupil and some photo identity for themselves.
What will happen to exams and tests?
GCSEs, AS levels and A levels will not go ahead this summer. The Government are working with the sector and Ofqual to ensure young people get the qualifications they need. Further details are expected from the Government shortly.
Please note that all of these arrangements remain subject to change due to staffing, health and safety reasons, together with changing national guidance. Arrangements may need to change if resources are limited – this may include us needing to reduce take up. It may also be necessary for children to attend other Spencer School sites should guidance or staffing dictate.
Further information can be found at