Key worker children continue to attend school during pandemic

The British Government has ordered for all schools to close following concerns about the Coronavirus outbreak. However, schools will remain open on a limited basis for key worker children and for those considered vulnerable at home.

From the week starting on Monday the 23rd, school staff have been going into work on a rota basis to supervise those children whose parents are key workers.

However, there is not a fixed timetable. Instead, teachers have been planning alternative activities such as artistic, musical, cooking and sporting activities for this period of time.

Key workers are people whose jobs are crucial to public health and safety during the coronavirus lockdown. Some of these include: NHS staff, education and childcare workers and food chain workers.

A micrograph of a COVID-19 particle

St Paul’s Junior School in Shepton Mallet, Somerset, is one of the schools that has remained open for this purpose. On the first day, 59 places were offered, but only 29 children arrived. A collective of teachers and teaching assistants have come together to take care of the children, although some have already began to self-isolate.

Julie Cave, TA, said that she is concerned for her well-being but her main priority is to look after the children and keep them safe.

“I’m asTHmatic but I’ll take my chances for the children”
– Julie Cave, tA

Despite the service offered to key worker children, more parents are choosing to keep their children at home to reduce the chances of contracting the virus. On the second day of this new week, only 12 children attended out of the original 59 places offered.

Schools in other countries such as Spain, have been completely shut down to stop the spread. This has left parents urgently trying to arrange childcare.

Coronavirus or COVID-19, is a new illness that can affect lungs and airways. The latest figures show that there is 8,077 confirmed cases and 422 deaths in the UK.