Educating children and young people
You will be aware that UK schools are now closed to the majority of pupils as part of national lockdown measures announced on 4 January 2021.
Primary and secondary schools, as well as colleges, will only remain open for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers.
All other children will learn remotely at home until February half term. Your child’s school will arrange this so please contact the school directly if you have any questions about the arrangements.
Due to the changes in government guidance, the demand for school places during this third lockdown is very high and greater than schools’ capacity in some cases.
To keep pupils and staff in schools safe, the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Local Resilience Forum / LLR have set out some priorities to guide school leaders:
Those children who may have difficulty engaging with remote education at home will be offered an onsite place if they have other vulnerabilities and if all other options have been exhausted (including securing devices and non-digital resource packs).
If required, the following critical workers can be prioritised (in no particular order):
- Families with two critical workers or single parent families who are critical workers
- Critical local authority and public service workers, who cannot perform their tasks from home without their children attending school
- Front line health and social care workers
- Officers and staff from the police and fire service
- School staff
- Early years staff
It is proposed that schools don't make blanket decisions that are contrary to the DfE guidance, however, Head Teachers across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland are best placed to make decisions about how best to provide places for critical workers and vulnerable children based on the risk assessment of what is safe, keeps transmission down, supports our most vulnerable children, enables critical services to continue to be delivered and enables the continued delivery of high quality remote learning.
Department for Education guidance (8 January) states that children with at least one parent or carer who is a critical worker can go to school or college if required, but parents and carers should keep their children at home if they can. Due to demand for places, some schools may ask you to only use a place when/if needed so that those offering daily frontline services are able to access safe provision, when they need it. Some further information on critical worker arrangements is available on the DFE blog.
If you have any questions about eligibility to attend school, or about home learning and expectations, please contact your child’s school directly.
The Government has said it doesn't think it is possible for all exams due to be taken in the summer to go ahead as planned. Alternative arrangements that will allow students to progress fairly will be made soon.
Early years and childcare services are expected to remain open if they can. Please contact your provider to check arrangements.
We are working hard to adapt how we deliver services to provide continued support and protection to our most vulnerable children. We are taking steps to find new ways of keeping in touch with children and families who are working with us and may need help at this difficult time.
If your child has a social worker, you can contact them using their normal office number but be prepared for a call back as our staff prioritise calls.
If you’re a foster carer or connected carer, your social worker will be in touch to ensure you feel supported. We are continuing to prioritise referrals to protect children who are at immediate risk of harm.
Further school information
Your school will provide you with more information – including questions about school meals and transport.
A reminder that children who need to self-isolate for whatever reason should not be at school. Find this latest information about self-isolation and how long this should be on the NHS website.