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St Patrick's Primary School, Newtownstewart

Provision for Key Workers during the Covid-19 Emergency

Dear Parent/Guardian

Re Supporting Children of Key Workers

You may be aware that schools are closed from Friday 20th March but will reopen on Tuesday next week with skeletal staff for the children of Key Workers only.

The recent advice on how to reduce the risk of and limit the spread of Covid-19 is clear.
If children can safely stay at home, they should do so, to limit the chance of the virus spreading.

Therefore, children must be looked after at home where this is at all possible.

The message is that schools are closed. Our school service is a service of last resort in order to protect your children, our staff and the wider community and to ensure that the maximum number of key workers can get to work to provide the essential front line services that we need.

It is important that school is aware of how many children will require this service from Tuesday 24th March because of social distancing requirements and a fast reducing workforce.
If you meet the Key Workers Criteria (see below) and wish to be considered for a place in this reduced provision, please email info@stpatricksps.newtownstewart.ni.sch.uk before 5.00pm tomorrow, Saturday 21st March.

In the email, please include –
Your name, job & employer’s name
Your children’s names and classes
Days you will require childcare support

Refer to the job title attached within each sector and consider if the following applies:
1. You are a single parent, identified as a key worker – without another family member/trusted friend who could look after your child.
2. Parents identified as Key Workers – working during school hours, without another family member/trusted friend who could look after your child.

Please note that yours will be a request. Children who apply (see email details above) and meet the Key Worker Criteria will be notified if there is a place available. Schools may have to prioritise according to the need and the availability of staff. Please also be advised that school will be providing childcare, rather than teaching and will be operating your child’s normal school hours 9.15-2.15 or 9.15-3.15 (with no morning or after school provision).

Sending children to school could potentially facilitate the spread of this virus so only use the service as a last resort.
We hope your family is doing well and keeping safe during this difficult time.

Yours sincerely,

P. Torney
Principal

KEY WORKERS

• Health and Social Care. This includes doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers, home carers and staff required to maintain our health and social care sector

• Education and childcare. This includes nursery and teaching staff, social workers and those specialist education professionals who will remain active during the Covid-19 response

• Public safety and national security. This includes civilians and officers in the police (including key contractors), Fire and Rescue Service, prison service and other national security roles

• Transport. This will include those keeping air, water, road and rail transport modes operating during the Covid-19 response

• Utilities and Communication. This includes staff needed for oil, gas, electricity and water (including sewage) and primary industry supplies, to continue during the Covid-19 response, as well as key staff in telecommunications, post and delivery, services and waste disposal

• Food and other necessary goods. This includes those involved in food production, processing, distribution and sale, as well as those essential to the provision of other key goods (e.g hygiene, medical etc)

• Other workers essential to delivering key public services

• Key national and local government including those administrative occupations essential to the effective delivery of the Covid-19 response