Health Matters Letter 2

20th March 2020

Dear Parents,

The government’s advice is very clear that, wherever safe to do so, children should now stay at home to limit the chance of the COVID-19 virus spreading.

They are asking parents to keep children at home. School will remain open until it is no longer able to due to staff shortages but only to those who absolutely need to attend.

 St James’ will be open from Monday to children who meet the following criteria

  • Children who are identified as vulnerable as per DFE guidance and cannot ensure their child is kept safe at home.
  • Children whose parents are key workers and cannot ensure their child is kept safe at home


 Someone from school will have already contacted you today if you are in this category. You do not need to send your child in if you can safely provide for them at home. We have been in contact with the SEN team and Children’s Social Care and this is the advice they are giving too. 


The DfE published their definition of key workers at midnight last night!

The key worker categories are

  • Health and social care
  • Education and childcare
  • Key public services
  • Local and national government
  • Food and other necessary goods
  • Public safety and national security
  • Transport
  • Utilities, communication and financial services

Please check on to see if you fall into one of these categories.

Again, the guidance is that you do not need to send your child in if you can safely provide for them at home.

If you believe that you fall into one of these categories and do need childcare at school for your child/children so that you can fulfil your role by attending a place of work (i.e. not your home) then please do the following as soon as possibleeven if you have already spoken to me by phone. 

  • Email your child/children’s name(s) and year groups to:

Please do not use the admin@ or head@ email addresses as we do not want these emails to go missing in all the virus update emails!

  • Include details of your employment as a key worker i.e. which category you work for, who your employer is, what your role is.
  • Include whether it is just yourself who is a key worker or, if you have a partner, whether they are a key worker also.
  • If your partner is also a key worker, please include details of their employment with the same detail.
  • Briefly clarify why you can’t provide childcare for your child/children in any other way.
  • Which days you are working and so require childcare.
  • Whether your child will bring a packed lunch or will need a school dinner (this needs to be paid for unless you are entitled to free school meals.

In the event that school has high numbers of requests for a place which outstrip our changing resources, priority will be given to families where both primary carers are key workers. In the event of this, parents will need to provide evidence for this. How to do this will be outlined only if we need to.

In the event that our staffing cannot safely provide childcare, school will be forced to close to everyone and you will need to contact the local authority who will redirect you to a local school in the area that your child can attend.

Our provision will not be based on the National Curriculum, it will be more of a childcare nature. The hours will be 9-3.30 for most children. If you require breakfast club provision it will be at the usual cost of £1 per child per day from 8.15am.


If your child is entitled to free school meals (this is not the same as the infant free school meal provision) and you require us to provide your child with a packed lunch then please also contact us on

If you request it by email, we will be able to provide a packed lunch for your child each day, starting from Wednesday 25th March, which you can collect at 12pm. We are very conscious of food waste so please only order if required.

Please can I take this opportunity to express my thanks to you all for your understanding at this very difficult time and your patience in waiting for information. I am passing on information as soon as I receive it. Can I also thank all our amazing staff who are going the extra mile to provide and for our children.