What is a ‘key worker’? Find out if you qualify to send your child to school

Many people are classed as 'key workers' and can still send their children to school (file photo) Pi

Many people are classed as 'key workers' and can still send their children to school (file photo) Picture: GETTY IMAGES/iSTOCKPHOTO - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Schools across Suffolk, Essex and the rest of the country will close this afternoon as the fight against coronavirus steps up another gear - however, children whose parents are classed as being ‘key workers’ will still be eligible to attend.

Announcing the closures of schools, nurseries and child-minding services earlier this week, prime minister Boris Johnson revealed that employees working in essential services will still be able to send their children to school to ensure the country can keep operating in the fight against the virus.

Those classed as a ‘key worker’ are employed in the following sectors:

•Health and social care

Doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics and care workers, as well as anyone involved in the production of medicines and personal protective equipment, will be needed to combat the virus.

•Education and childcare

Nursery and teaching staff at schools, with many remaining partially open in the coming weeks

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•Key public services

Those involved in the justice system, religious staff and journalists providing public service broadcasting will still be able to send their children to school

•Local and national government

Employees will need to ensure essential public services will still be able to function amid the virus crisis

•Food and other necessary goods

Food production and delivery workers will be required to work to keep the supply chain going

•Public safety and national security

Police will be required to keep public order, while prison wardens, Ministry of Defence staff and those in the armed forces also fall under this category


Those who keep the air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport networks operating will still be expected to work

•Utilities, communication and financial services

Bank staff, oil, gas and electricity employees and those who are responsible for delivering items are still required

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The PM has also said the must vulnerable children will also still be able to attend school and nursery settings to ensure they are cared for and fed.

If you think you are considered a key worker and need to send your child to school, or nursery,you are advised to contact your childcare provider for advice.

Schools are warning they will not be operating a full time table and are opening more as a source of childcare, than education. Classes will be made up of mixed age groups and lessons will be more fluid than normal.

More: See all the latest coronavirus news here

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