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Government response
government response summary
Schools closed by the end of the day on Friday 20 March. Affecting schools, colleges, and early years settings in England, except for children of critical workers and the most vulnerable children.
government response details
The first aim of the school closure measures set out by the Secretary of State for Education is to reduce the number of children moving around local areas as far as possible, in order to further reduce the number of social interactions and thus flatten the upward curve of the Covid-19 outbreak. The second aim is to continue to care for children whose parents are critical to the Covid-19 response, so that they can continue to work. This includes those who work in the health and social care sectors as well as those critical to continuing to provide essential services such as transport, food and delivery, utilities, communications and public safety. In addition to this, schools will continue to care for the most vulnerable children. Vulnerable children include those who have a social worker and those with Education, Health and Care Plans – a legal document that describes a child’s special educational needs and the support they require.Children who do not fall into these groups have been advised to stay at home with appropriate care to limit the spread of the virus, protect the NHS and save lives. The DfE is working closely with colleagues across Government to ensure that all appropriate arrangements, and support, are in place for all DfE sectors – from early years and childcare to schools and children’s social care. The DfE is also in regular discussions with sector bodies and unions, and we will continue to work together on current and emerging issues. We will ensure students, parents and staff are kept up to date. The advice from Public Health England is that it remains safe for small numbers of children and staff to attend schools, colleges and childcare settings. Decisions on future advice to schools will be taken based on the latest and best scientific evidence.Department for Education.
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