Key Workers Update (20/03/2020 - 8am)




Parents whose work is critical to the COVID-19 response include those who work in health and social care and in other key sectors outlined below. Many parents working in these sectors may be able to ensure their child is kept at home. And every child who can be safely cared for at home should be.


Please, therefore, follow these key principles:

1. If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be.

2. If a child needs specialist support, is vulnerable or has a parent who is a critical worker, then educational provision will be available for them.

3. Parents should not rely for childcare upon those who are advised to be in the stringent social distancing category such as grandparents, friends, or family members with underlying conditions.

4. Parents should also do everything they can to ensure children are not mixing socially in a way which can continue to spread the virus. They should observe the same social distancing principles as adults.

5. Residential special schools, boarding schools and special settings continue to care for children wherever possible.


If your work is critical to the COVID-19 response, or you work in one of the critical sectors listed below, and you cannot keep your child safe at home then your children will be prioritised for education provision:


Health and social care

This includes but is not limited to:

· doctors,

· nurses,

· midwives,

· paramedics,

· social workers,

· care workers,

· other frontline health and social care staff including volunteers;

· the support and specialist staff required to maintain the UK’s health and social care sector;

· those working as part of the health and social care supply chain,

· producers and distributers of medicines and medical and personal protective equipment.


Education and childcare

· nursery staff

· teaching staff,

· social workers

· specialist education professionals who must remain active during the COVID-19 response to deliver this approach.


Key public services

· those essential to the running of the justice system,

· religious staff,

· charities and workers delivering key frontline services,

· those responsible for the management of the deceased,

· journalists and broadcasters providing public service broadcasting.


Local and national government

This only includes those administrative occupations essential to the effective delivery of the COVID-19 response or delivering essential public services such as the payment of benefits, including in government agencies and arms length bodies.


Food and other necessary goods

· those involved in food production,

· processing,

· distribution,

· sale and delivery

· those essential to the provision of other key goods (for example hygienic and veterinary medicines).


Public safety and national security

· police and support staff,

· Ministry of Defence civilians,

· contractor and armed forces personnel (those critical to the delivery of key defence and national security outputs and essential to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic),

· fire and rescue service employees (including support staff),

· National Crime Agency staff, those maintaining border security,

· prison and probation staff

· other national security roles, including those overseas.



· those who will keep the air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating during the COVID-19 response,

· those working on transport systems through which supply chains pass.


Utilities, communication and financial services

· staff needed for essential financial services provision (including but not limited to workers in banks, building societies and financial market infrastructure),

· the oil, gas, electricity and water sectors (including sewerage),

· information technology and data infrastructure sector and primary industry supplies to continue during the COVID-19 response,

· key staff working in the civil nuclear, chemicals,

· telecommunications (including but not limited to network operations, field engineering, call centre staff, IT and data infrastructure, 999 and 111 critical services),

· postal services

· delivery,

· payments providers

· waste disposal sectors.


If workers think they fall within the critical categories above they should confirm with their employer that, based on their business continuity arrangements, their specific role is necessary for the continuation of this essential public service.