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Urgent Notice - Lockdown

Dear parents


Following the announcement this evening, I contact you to clarify the next steps to be undertaken by school in order to secure effective compliance with the Prime Minister’s Statement.  I would like to thank you in advance for your patience and understanding during another significant change to the current situation. 



Please do not send your children to school tomorrow


Owing to the extraordinary short notice, Ashgate Primary School, like a number of other schools will be closed to all tomorrow (Tuesday 5th January 2021), reopening to those to be identified as critical workers and identified as vulnerable on Wednesday 6th January.




Whilst I acknowledge this will be a short term challenge for some families who are likely to fall into the critical worker category, it is essential that the switch to remote learning and limited access to school be managed effectively, professionally and with due recognition of the need to make it safe, manageable and sustainable.  It is not possible to do this in less than 12 hours and during the night.


Next steps:

  1. Families will be contacted tomorrow to allow them to ‘register critical worker status’ (see below) 
  2. Once numbers are known, I can then organise the staffing required to effectively manage the group, maintaining bubbles and year group continuity where possible. 
  3. Parents will be updated accordingly (tomorrow afternoon) and where a register of critical worker status is agreed in principle, those families will be invited into school on Wednesday (be aware; as with the previous lockdown, there will be a requirement to evidence entitlement via, for example, identification car, contract, payslip or similar when arriving at school).
  4. Access for ‘critical workers’ and remote learning for those not entitled will be ready for Wednesday, however, generic year group resources are on the school website now.



What is deemed a critical worker?

As of Dec 2020, Gov UK identified the following roles as ‘critical worker’:


Education and childcare

This includes:

  • childcare
  • support and teaching staff
  • social workers
  • specialist education professionals who must remain active during the coronavirus (COVID-19) response to deliver this approach


Key public services

This includes:

  • those essential to the running of the justice system
  • religious staff
  • charities and workers delivering key frontline services
  • those responsible for the management of the deceased
  • journalists and broadcasters who are providing public service broadcasting


Local and national government

This only includes those administrative occupations essential to the effective delivery of:

  • the coronavirus (COVID-19) response, and the delivery of and response to EU transition
  • essential public services, such as the payment of benefits and the certification or checking of goods for import and export (including animal products, animals, plants and food), including in government agencies and arms length bodies


Food and other necessary goods

This includes those involved in food:

  • production
  • processing
  • distribution
  • sale and delivery
  • as well as those essential to the provision of other key goods (for example hygienic and veterinary medicines)


Public safety and national security

This includes:

  • police and support staff
  • Ministry of Defence civilians
  • contractor and armed forces personnel (those critical to the delivery of key defence and national security outputs and essential to the response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and EU transition)
  • fire and rescue service employees (including support staff)
  • National Crime Agency staff
  • those maintaining border security, prison and probation staff and other national security roles, including those overseas


Transport and border

This includes those who will keep the air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating during the coronavirus (COVID-19) response and EU transition, including those working on transport systems through which supply chains pass and those constructing or supporting the operation of critical transport and border infrastructure through which supply chains pass.


Utilities, communication and financial services

This includes:

  • staff needed for essential financial services provision (including but not limited to workers in banks, building societies and financial market infrastructure)
  • the oil, gas, electricity and water sectors (including sewerage)
  • information technology and data infrastructure sector and primary industry supplies to continue during the coronavirus (COVID-19) response
  • key staff working in the civil nuclear, chemicals, telecommunications (including but not limited to network operations, field engineering, call centre staff, IT and data infrastructure, 999 and 111 critical services)
  • postal services and delivery
  • payments providers
  • waste disposal sectors


Important:  School will only be open to the families of critical workers during the working hours of those individuals.  For example, staff working part time would only have access to school on those working days.  Consideration and flexibility would be given to those completing, for example NHS shift work patterns.  This will be managed on a case by case basis.


Those who will have access to school as they fall into the ‘vulnerable children’ category will be contacted individually by a member of the school pastoral team.


Remote Learning 

All staff will be present at school tomorrow to support the transition to remote learning which will be made available via Office 365 Teams as of Wednesday.  You will be contacted with further support (via means of re issue of guidance already shared) and guidance on how this works.  Many families are well versed and experienced in the use of Office 365 Teams, however I do know that this will be new to many.  We will support you if this is new to you.


Additional information on resetting passwords for online learning will be shared to support families.


In the meantime, learning resources are already published on the school website under ‘Class Pages’ for those struggling to access Office 365 or who are awaiting materials to be uploaded on the system.


Important change:  Our system for remote learning does allow face to face contact with staff and the option to upload work for review.


Please keep an eye out for further notices.


If you are unable to access online learning, we will be providing printed work packs which will be collectable as soon as they are ready.