Council releases coronavirus school closures guidance

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The government announced on March 18 that all schools, early years settings and colleges should close with effect from the end of the school day on Friday, March 20 until further notice as a result of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

However, schools and settings will continue to support children of key workers (emergency services, health services) and vulnerable children. The government also announced that the upcoming public examinations will not proceed, with further details to follow in due course.

Therefore, Bromley council is advising academy trusts that are responsible for running the majority of the borough’s schools and other educational providers to take immediate steps to notify parents/carers of the arrangements they are putting in place.

A Bromley Council spokesperson said: “The council understands the significant impact that school closures have on families and the wider community and we will continue to provide support and guidance to schools and settings, in line with government and public health guidance. In particular, we will urgently work with schools and settings on the ongoing arrangements for children of key workers and vulnerable children.

“Wherever possible, schools are advised to provide school work for pupils through their website/online portal or via email facilities. For pupils in receipt of free school meals, the government has announced it will provide schools with flexibility to provide free school meals or vouchers, whilst a national voucher system is developed. We are therefore encouraging schools to consider whether arrangements can be made locally for food or a voucher to be collected, either from the school, or working with a local charitable organisation.”

The government has also provided a national coronavirus helpline to answer questions about COVID-19 relating to education and children’s social care. Parents, staff, and young people can contact this helpline by phoning 0800 046 8687 (open 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday.)

For more information on the latest government advice in response to the virus, visit: www.gov.uk/coronavirus

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