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Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice for parents and carers

Government announcement on the closure of education settings and summer 2021 exams

On Wednesday 6 January, Gavin Williamson, Secretary of State for Education in England, made a statement to Parliament on the closure of education settings during national lockdown. In his statement he confirmed that GCSEs and A and AS Level exams will not go ahead this summer and will put their trust in teachers rather than algorithms with detailed guidance to follow. Also issued on the 8 January was a press release from the Education Secretary which outlines plans to support young people. You can read both here:

Gavin Williamson 8 Jan Statement (opens in a new window)

Education Secretary 8 Jan Press Release (opens in a new window)

Vulnerable children and the children of critical workers who can attend school and college

On Tuesday 5 January, the Government announced that, during the period of national lockdown, schools and colleges should only allow vulnerable children and the children of critical workers to attend.

All children who meet the definition of ‘vulnerable learners’ provided by the DfE and those who are children of critical workers should be able to attend school during the period of national lockdown. This includes those children and young people who have an education, health and care (EHC) plan.

Children with at least one parent or carer who is listed as a critical worker are eligible for a school place. It is not necessary for both parents to be critical workers.

The critical worker list has also been updated to include new workforces whose work is critical following the end of the EU transition period.

Vulnerable children and young people include those who:

  • are assessed as being in need under section 17 of the Children Act 1989, including children and young people who have a child in need plan, a child protection plan or who are a looked-after child
  • have an education, health and care (EHC) plan
  • have been identified as otherwise vulnerable by educational providers or local authorities* (including children’s social care services), and who could therefore benefit from continued full-time attendance, this might include:
    • children and young people on the edge of receiving support from children’s social care services or in the process of being referred to children’s services
    • adopted children or children on a special guardianship order
    • those at risk of becoming NEET (‘not in employment, education or training’)
    • those living in temporary accommodation
    • those who are young carers
    • those who may have difficulty engaging with remote education at home (for example due to a lack of devices or quiet space to study)
    • care leavers
    • others at the provider and local authority’s discretion including pupils and students who need to attend to receive support or manage risks to their mental health

*In Worcestershire we are including pupils who attend school-based language unit provision as vulnerable learners and therefore they should be able to attend school.

Website: Children of critical workers and vulnerable children who can access schools or educational settings (opens in a new window)

Letters to parents

Download: Letter on behalf of Dr Catherine Driscoll, Director of Children’s Services and Dr Kathryn Cobain, Director of Public Health on the roll out of Coronavirus testing across Worcestershire for secondary age pupils

Download: Minister Ford open letter to the SEND sector 9 November 2020

Download: Letter on behalf of Dr Catherine Driscoll, Director of Children’s Services and Cllr Marcus, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills at Worcestershire County Council for parents of all school aged children


Early years settings, schools and college advice

Advice, guidance and support


Health and wellbeing


Educational resources and things to do at home

COVID-19, Domestic Abuse and Your Community

You might be worried about yourself or a friend/relative’s wellbeing whilst we are being asked to stay at home as part of the COVID-19 emergency measures. If so, help is available:

SafeLives ending domestic abuse # you are not alone
Safe Lives have all the domestic abuse resources in a one stop link:
Website: SafeLives ending domestic abuse - Domestic abuse and COVID-19 (opens in a new window)
Free phone 24 hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline 0808 2000 247

West Mercia Women’s Aid Helpline 24 hours a day on 0800 980 3331
Website: West Mercia Women's Aid (opens in a new window)

Men’s Advice Line on 0808 801 0327 (Monday to Friday 9.00am to 5.00pm)

In an emergency always dial 999

For more information about this service and further domestic abuse related information and services please visit the Worcestershire County Council Domestic abuse website.