With schools closing today to all pupils except the children of key workers, and vulnerable children Councillor Suzy Horton - Cabinet Member for Education shared the principles on why schools are only partially closing:
- To keep key workers at work as this will save lives
- To keep vulnerable children safe and cared for
- To give food to those children who need it
Social distancing will be applied in schools to keep teachers/ school as safe as possible (remember they are key workers too)
Please keep this in mind when deciding to send a child to school.
The list of key workers is quite broad. Schools may ask for some evidence (eg to see a pass) but most probably know the parents anyway.
Please remember if children can be cared for at home they should be! School should not be seen as an alternative activity for children. I’ve seen some comments from parents that their child is old enough (secondary) to stay at home whilst they are at work. At this time, this would be the right thing to do, if the child is safe and will stay at home.
If any parent is a key worker (even one) the child can go to school and remember they should not be cared for by elderly people/people with underlying health conditions.
If schools have severe staff shortages because the number of children attending is high, they can still close, which is why children should be at home if at all possible.
Schools are producing their own guidance on how they will be managing this process but it is anticipated that the maximum number of schools will stay open in the city with the aim of having the minimum children in attendance.
Headteachers are working round the clock with the council and each other to make this work - and started before the government announcements! Please be patient with schools as they put plans into action and convey these through their usual channels.
There will also be updates on the PCC website and through the media.
Thanks to ALL key workers (including teachers) and all parents helping this work.
Schools and families - coronavirus information
Up to date health advice for residents who are concerned that they or their loved ones may be suffering from Covid19 can find advice from the NHS at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
Advice for businesses can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-employees-employers-and-businesses
Updates from Portsmouth City Council can be found at https://www.portsmouth.gov.uk/ext/news/coronavirus-covid-19