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Monday, October 18, 2021

List of ‘key workers’ who’s children can return to school
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A letter issued to Coleraine Primary Principals Group’ has detailed the arrangement for Children who’s parent(s) are key workers, and therefore eligible to send their children to school again on Monday.

The statement regarding supporting the children of key workers, reads:

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“At approximately 5pm last evening, the minister for Education in Northern Ireland, Peter Weir, MLA, made a statement outlining how schools will close from the end of the school day, today, Friday 20th March, however, he has asked schools to open with skeleton staff on Monday 23rd March to support identified key workers.

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You are receiving this letter as your child’s primary school is represented, by your principal, on the Coleraine Primary Principal’s Group. Many principals on this group have agreed to follow a coordinated response to ensure that we support the children of key workers in a similar way across our schools. Some schools may be in a position to provide more support, depending on the numbers of staff still available to work.

Firstly, it is vitally important that schools are aware how many children of key workers will be attending school on Monday morning. With this in mind, if you feel you are an identified key worker, please make contact with your child’s primary school (by the email address listed below) by 2pm on Friday 20th March to inform school if you are requesting a place for your child/children and how you meet the key workers definition. If schools feel they can offer your child a place safely, they will be in touch. Our position on this may well be ever evolving.
This is a procedure to be followed on a daily basis to ensure staffing is adequate.

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The letter then goes on to set out what should be considered the the proverdure to follow.

POINTS TO CONSIDER:

•Only children with BOTH parents working as key workers, and BOTH PARENTS OUT AT WORK AT THE SAME TIME should consider attending school. In single parent families, the individual parent with full time responsibility MUST be a key worker.
• If possible, alternative childcare arrangements should be sought before deciding to send your child to school. For example, with other family members, friends etc. Please try and use schools as a last resort. This is to try and limit the number of children and adults together in a small space in line with recent social distancing guidance.
• Initially, schools will not have wraparound services available. Each school’s normal opening and closing time will apply-Eg: 9am -2pm, 9am-3pm
• Children attending school will NOT be required to wear uniform. Please be advised that schools will be performing childcare duties, not teaching. Not all teachers are currently available to teach specific year groups. Teachers involved in this childcare will NOT be available to provide online/remote learning to other children/classes.

The following is a list of key workers eligible for this scheme.

List of 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

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