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Childcare for Critical Workers and Vulnerable Children

20 March 2020

Dear Parents and Carers,


Thank you again for your patience during this extraordinary and challenging time for us all.


The Vine Trust schools have decided to come together to give extra clarity and consistency around the critical worker list.  The Government’s definition of a ‘critical worker’ and a ‘vulnerable child’ is extensive and, unless we prioritise, we may not be able to support families and workers that require this help the most.


We have put together a tiered system from 1 to 4 and have prioritised our staff to tier 1.  Although this is an agreed tiered system, we will make decisions case by case in our schools based on our staffing capacity and this may change on a day to day basis.


We must emphasise that the government guidance states that ‘if your work is critical to the Covid-19 response, or you work in one of the critical sectors AND you cannot keep your child safe at home then your children will be prioritised for educational provision.  Many parents working in these critical sectors may be able to ensure their child is kept at home.  Every child who can be safely cared for at home should be.’


Tier 1

Tier 2

Tier 3

Tier 4





Social workers

Care workers

Machine workers producing medicines

Support and specialist staff as part of medial administrative support

Nursery staff

School staff

Social workers

Food distributers

Food processors

Food delivery drivers

Police and support staff


Contractor and armed forced personnel

Fire and rescue

Workers responsible for management of deceased

Health and social care

Food sale

Those involved in the sale and delivery of veterinary medicines

Oil, gas, electricity and water workers

Waste disposal sector

National crime agency

Boarder security

Prison and probation staff

National security

Justice system workers

Air, water and road workers

Freight transport workers operating through COVID-19 responses

Telecommunications for critical services

Specialist education professionals

Civil nuclear and chemical workers

Network operations

Payment providers

Charity workers providing COVID-19 relief

Religious staff



Local and national Government administrators

Rail passenger workers

Essential financial services

Information technology and data infrastructure as part of the COVID-19 response

Postal workers



Please complete the information below and return this to school by 2pm today so that our staff can plan.  We will be asking for contact details including full name and telephone number of your supervisor so we can confirm that your active role is a necessity in these challenging circumstances.  We may also need to get in touch with you via telephone to gain some extra clarification.


Your child’s/children’s names:

Year groups:
Key worker category you fit into:

Your job role/role:

Supervisors name and contact details:

Your spouse’s/partner’s role
Will you need supervision for your child next week?: Yes/No?
If No will you potentially need supervision in future weeks?:

Days that supervision will be needed next week (23rd – 27th March):
Times you would need supervision each day (Please try to be as specific as possible):

Any other information you feel we need to know:


We understand many of you are shift workers but please try your best to let us know what supervision you will need next week including times needed. We will be working on a week by week basis.

There is further information and guidance regarding what constitutes a key worker and the closure of schools.

These can be found at

I would urge you to read this carefully before responding to this letter.


The key points however are summarised below.

  • Schools are now closed and, where possible, children should stay at home.
  • Schools will remain open for children of critical workers and vulnerable children where they can
  • Many parents working in these critical sectors may be able to ensure their child is kept at home. Every child who can be safely cared for at home should be.  If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be.
  • Children with at least one parent or carer who are identified as critical workers by the government can send their children to school if required.
  • It is important to underline that schools, remain safe places for children. The fewer children making the journey to school, and the fewer children in educational settings, the lower the risk that the virus can spread and infect vulnerable individuals in wider society.


I understand that the guidance will take some time to read.  We would ask everyone to consider the above carefully and for all to answer the questions below even if you responded yesterdayPlease respond where possible by 2pm today.  Following conversations with other professionals we need to know some more details so staff can be organised next week.


Thank you for your support.  Again, I would like to urge that where at all possible children should stay at home to prevent the spread of the virus anymore.  In order for us to remain open for our critical workers I also have to ensure staff remain fit and healthy so would ask you to consider this carefully before responding.

Yours sincerely,


Mrs F Reid

Head Teacher