Education, schools and childcare - Coronavirus update
Closures of schools, childcare and educational settings
We are working closely with all of our schools to work through the guidance provided by central government around safely expanding our schools offer to more children from June.
This includes looking at options for the phased re-opening of schools for the priority year groups, as set out in the government guidance. We are working towards an initial date of the 8 June before any children return to school, to ensure risk assessments have been undertaken and robust plans are in place to support our children and staff. We will keep our position under review as new guidance and policy emerges.
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, from Monday 23 March, schools, colleges, childcare providers and other educational settings will be closed to the majority of pupils until further notice.
The government has identified a list of key workers and vulnerable young people where there is a need to provide a continued place in school for children where their parents/carers have certain jobs. It is vital that, where possible, children are kept at home in order to slow down the transmission of the virus. However, there may be times when you have no other option than to use the school’s offer of a childcare place. While at school the focus will be to keep children safe, rather than accessing learning.
What to do if you cannot keep your child safe at home
Please contact your child’s school, college or childcare provider directly to see if they are able to offer a place for your child while you are at work. If this is not possible, maybe due to the school being closed, please email our education team or call 01925 442211.
We will need this information:
- Your child’s name
- Date of birth
- Name of their school
- The days/time you need to access a school place
Cancellation of exams
The COVID-19 outbreak is expected to continue having a significant impact on the education system for months to come. Therefore, exams have been cancelled now to give pupils, parents, and teachers certainty, and enable schools and colleges to focus on supporting vulnerable children and the children of key workers.
New information is being released daily, but early indication is that anyone who would have had exams this year will instead be provided with a calculated grade based on teachers’ assessment of the likely grade, as well as other factors such as prior attainment.
Pupil’s final grades will not necessarily reflect their predicted grades. There will be an appeal process, as well as the opportunity to actually take exams sometime in the future should a pupils wish to.
If you have any concerns regarding exams, or would like to talk to someone about your options going forward you can email our careers service or call 01925 442211.
Access to your free school meals
For those children who remain in school, free school meals will be available as normal.
For those children who are able to stay at home, the offer of free school meals will be managed by your child’s school. In some instances this may be a packed lunch, and in other cases food vouchers will be made available.
For further information please contact your child’s school directly. For all questions and requests about free school meals eligibility please email our schools admissions team or call 01925 446226. If you have any other concerns, please email our education team or call 01925 442211.
New foodbank locations have been set up across Warrington. You can find a list of foodbanks in the My Life Warrington Directory or call 01925 443131 to find your nearest foodbank and opening times.
Maintaining educational provision
The fewer children making the journey to school, and the fewer children in educational settings, the lower the risk of the virus spreading. Schools, and all childcare providers, are being asked to continue to provide care for a limited number of children – who are vulnerable, and children whose parent’s jobs are critical to the COVID-19 response and cannot be safely cared for at home.
Vulnerable children includes children who are supported by social care, those with safeguarding and welfare needs, including those with child in need plans, child protection plans, ‘looked after’ children, young carers, disabled children, and those with education, health and care (EHC) plans.
If you have any concerns about the education of a vulnerable child in your care, please email our Virtual School or call 01925 443409.
While in school settings, the priority will be to ensure children remain safe, with learning support being provided only if and when appropriate. If you are having problems with placing a child in an education setting please email our education team or call 01925 442211.
For those children that are able to stay home, most schools and colleges will have put in place learning packs for students to continue their learning where possible. There are also useful websites to support your child’s learning, the Department for Education will shortly be publishing helpful lists.
School Holidays (including bank holidays)
For children that are having to take up the offer of a school place, these will also be made available free of charge over school holidays and bank holidays for the foreseeable future.
Early Years, Nursery and Childminder provision
The My Life Warrington team can advise on available early years childcare places. Unfortunately due to the current situation the places available are changing rapidly, for the most up to date information please call 01925 443131.
We are committed to continuing to provide home to school transport, if you have any queries, please email our education team.