Northumberland schools to close due to COVID-19 - 18 March 2020
18 Mar 2020
Schools across Northumberland are set to close from Friday 20 March to all children except those with key workers and the most vulnerable children.
Key workers include NHS staff, police and delivery drivers who need to be able to go to work. Vulnerable children include those who have a social worker and those with educational health and care plans.
Wayne Daley, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Children’s Services at Northumberland County Council said: “This is an action taken across the world and with neighbours in Europe. Clearly this will cause many parents concern over childcare arrangements, and I want to put out an appeal to local employers to do everything they can to help parents with flexibility over childcare arrangements in the coming weeks.
“We’ve been working for many weeks with our school leaders to ensure their existing online learning platforms are running. And we’re doing everything we can, along with our partners, to make sure that our most vulnerable young people can access food during any closures. I have made it clear that I will provide additional funding to make this happen if it is needed.
“I am also very conscious that many of the 38,000 young people in education in the county will have parents who are ‘key workers’ such as those in transport, health, social work and uniformed services. I know these key workers need to be at work so they can support us all. I have therefore asked that we look at all opportunities to work with employers and child care settings, to see how we can facilitate a viable childcare offer for these essential workers.
“I have also made a commitment for additional resources into our Youth Service if they need extra support to work with young people during this period.
“I fully appreciate this is an incredibly difficult time - we are all affected by this
“As a Council we don't have all the answers or all the solutions. But we will work with you to do the very best we can to get through the situation, and we will work together to reduce the impact of this virus across all our departments.
“We are a great county with amazing people. This is our time to really demonstrate we are Team Northumberland and support each other. We will get through this.”
The council will be working closely with schools over the coming days to understand the needs of all our young people, their families and school staff to ensure they all get the support they need.