20th March 2020

Dear Parent/Guardian

Re Supporting Children of Key Workers ,

Yesterday evening the Minister for Education made a statement outlining how schools will close from today Friday, 20th March.  The overriding priority is to reduce the spread of the virus using social distancing and effective hygiene.  That is why churches, schools, community, sporting and other organisations are closed.

However, the Minister for Education stipulated that schools should try to co-operate with skeletal staff to facilitate provision for vulnerable children or those whose parents are key workers and critical to the Covid-19 response who, otherwise would have no option but to stay at home to look after their children.  The earliest we can put these arrangements in place here in Sacred Heart P.S. is Tuesday, 24th March 2020.

As there is a limit to the number of places we can provide under current regulations, it is vitally important that we can provide for numbers who may require a place.

With this in mind, If you meet the Key Workers Criteria (see below) and wish to be considered for a place in this reduced provision, please email before 12.00pm Monday, 23rd March.

In the email, please include –

  • Your name & job
  • Your children’s names and classes
  • Days you will require childcare support

Refer to the job title below within each sector and consider if the following applies:

  1. You are a single parent, identified as a key worker – without another family member/trusted friend who could look after your child.
  2. A parent is identified as a Key Worker – working during school hours, without another family member/trusted friend who could look after your child.

NB Should this service be over-subscribed, a formal application form will need to be completed in order for us to prioritise.

Children of key workers cannot use this facility where they have a spouse or partner working from or at home.  If they are not actually working that day themselves or they have alternative provision, our service should not be called upon as we need to keep the number in the school to an absolute minimum and ensure that social distancing precautions can be adhered to. Unfortunately, this is not business as usual and medical advisers continue to stress that the safest place for children and staff is at home with as little social contact as possible.

Parents/Guardians are asked to note that we can only operate during normal school hours 9.15am-3.15pm.  Staff will only be operating in a supervisory role and not in a teaching capacity.  We already have a reduction in staffing and this will probably continue to get worse in time.  School staff must observe the advice regarding social distancing by keeping the number of children and staff very low and limiting contact between them as much as possible.  Additionally, the school will only be open if enough staff are available to work. 

In conclusion, keep safe and thank you for your continued support in these difficult times.


J McElholm




  • Health and Social Care. This includes doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers, home carers and staff required to maintain our health and social care sector
  • Education and childcare. This includes nursery and teaching staff, social workers and those specialist education professionals who will remain active during the Covid-19 response
  • Public safety and national security. This includes civilians and officers in the police (including key contractors), Fire and Rescue Service, prison service and other national security roles
  • Transport. This will include those keeping air, water, road and rail transport modes operating during the Covid-19 response
  • Utilities and Communication. This includes staff needed for oil, gas, electricity and water (including sewage) and primary industry supplies, to continue during the Covid-19 response, as well as key staff in telecommunications, post and delivery services and waste disposal
  • Food and other necessary goods. This includes those involved in food production, processing, distribution and sale, as well as those essential to the provision of other key goods (e.g hygiene, medical etc)
  • Other workers essential to delivering key public services
  • Key national and local government including those administrative occupations essential to the effective delivery of the Covid-19 response