Derbyshire key worker parents urged to consider whether it is 'essential' their children are in school
Key worker parents in Derbyshire are being urged to consider whether it is ‘essential’ their children are in school.
Council leaders say they have seen an increase recently in the number of children attending school when compared to previous national lockdowns.
Derbyshire County Council has written a letter to parents explaining the situation, and encouraging them to speak to schools or colleges directly to identify if their child needs to attend.
County Hall says it is following national guidelines set out by the Government.
The letter says: “Since the beginning of this lockdown period in early January, school attendance has continued to remain much lower than in normal times and we thank you for your support.
"We recognise that school attendance varies between individual schools and on different days, but demand for school places has increased over the last couple of weeks.
"Whilst each individual school’s circumstances will differ, we have asked schools to consider a variety of factors to help them to manage the numbers of young people accessing a school place and thereby reduce the numbers of social contacts within the community.
"These factors include the number of vulnerable children, the numbers of critical worker children, school staffing, safe availability of spaces and the availability of remote learning.”
The letter goes on to quote Government’s advice from January 8, and which remains in place, and says: “Children with at least one parent or carer who is a critical worker can go to school or college if required, but parents and carers should keep their children at home if they can.”
A spokesperson for Derbyshire County Council said: “Schools are doing a great job and have never been shut since the start of the pandemic nearly a year ago.
“More recently, like nationally, we’ve seen a slight increase in school attendance during this lockdown over previous lockdowns.
“Schools are balancing remote learning with in class provision and therefore we would ask critical worker parents and carers to work with their school to determine whether a place for your child in school is essential.
“This is in line with Government advice which encourages critical worker parents only to have their children in school if it is essential, in order to reduce transmission as much as possible."