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Ealing schools take action to support key workers

Ealing’s schools and children’s centres are preparing to open their doors for children of key workers and other eligible children across the borough from Monday (23 March) in response to the coronavirus emergency.

Schools, in general, will close across the UK after today (Friday). However, educators have agreed to provide support children and young people of those people designated by the government as key workers, and those who are vulnerable, to ensure the borough can continue to respond to the coronavirus. Facilities are expected to open between 8am-6pm Monday-Friday.

The council is now working across schools to understand how we can support school leadership teams in delivering this care. It is expected that there will be a pool of volunteer staff who will float between schools as needed. It’s hoped that as many schools will open as is possible but there could be changes to provision and eligible parents are encouraged to contact their school for details.

SEN transport will continue to operate and free school meals will also continue either in the school setting or through a voucher system.

Some nursery provision will also continue to be provided, supported with funding from the council.

This action is being taken with the following key principles in mind:

  • To limit the spread of infection
  • To enable key workers to stay in work and carry out essential jobs
  • To minimise anxiety and disruption to children and young people requiring additional support.

The provision will be a mix of education and other childcare activity. Pupils will be expected to access online and other educational resources that schools have worked hard to produce, in the same way that other pupils at home will do.

It is likely that schools will be required to continue this provision over the Easter break to look after specific groups of pupils including children of key workers. Further guidance is expected from government on this.

If you are a key worker, as identified by the government, and want this provision please ask your child’s existing school.

Ealing’s Family Information Service (FIS) will be supporting parents whose jobs have been identified as being ‘Critical Workers’ and parents of eligible children; with information on which schools and childcare provisions remain open for their children to attend.

In the first instance please email children@ealing.gov.uk with your enquiry.
If you need to speak to someone please call 020 8825 5588 (Mon-Fri, 9am to 5pm)

Councillor Yvonne Johnson, deputy leader and member for schools and children’s services said: “I would like to thank our amazing school staff who recognise the need to support those that are working in health, emergency services and other key roles and who are prepared to provide a care service for the children of those workers. I know many have written directly to officers in the council making clear their commitment to meeting the needs of our communities. So, again, I would like to give a heartfelt thank you on behalf of those you are helping.”

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