Suffolk County Council urging parents to keep their children at home where possible
Suffolk County Council are urging parents to not send their children to school unless they absolutely must.
In a statement earlier today they said even if you are classed as a key worker, if you are in a position to keep your child at home to do so.
The current definition of a key worker can be found online here.
The reasoning behind the change is to reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus - the county council argues the less students attending school, the lower the risk of the virus spreading and infecting vulnerable individuals in wider society, and the more resources that will be freed up for schools to assist the most vulnerable children.
The council has launched a helpline for parents to assist them if their usual school is not open, or has been unable to make alternate arrangements for pupils.
If parents are classed as a key worker or have a child that is classed as vulnerable they can call 01473 263985 and the council will liaise to find them a school place.
Councillor Mary Evans, cabinet member for children’s services, education and skills said: "I understand that this is a very unsettling time for parents and I would like to thank parents who are undertaking to educate their children from home, this includes a large number of parents who are classed as key workers.
"I would like to echo the government’s advice and say please only take your children to school if this is absolutely necessary and other childcare arrangements cannot be made, this allows schools to focus their resources on key children and lowers the risk of the virus spreading.
"Most importantly, I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to school leaders and staff including early years settings, who are working so hard in these challenging times to enable schools and settings across Suffolk to open their doors today
"I would also like to thank partners from across the education sector who are working together to find the best solutions for all pupils, especially the most vulnerable."
The council has said it will update parents, teachers and children as and when possible.
More by this authorSam Walker