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Supporting Children of Key Workers / Vulnerable Children / Children on F.S.M.

Dear Parents,           

On Monday 23rd March 2020 our doors will re-open for a minority of pupils to support key workers as confirmed at 8.00pm this evening by the Permanent Secretary for Education. 

This provision will:

  • be dependent upon the number of staff available for work in our school;
  • be dependent upon further clarification / changes by the Minister.
  • be dependent on current social isolation/separation restrictions.


Please note the following:

Our school closed from Thursday 19th March to achieve social separation, to reduce the spread of the Coronavirus and to keep our children and staff safe. Department of Health advice is clear; social separation is essential in the fight against Coronavirus. The more children attending Moneyrea the less social separation and consequently the more transmission will occur. 


Before sending children to school, key workers should make every effort to make their own childcare arrangements with childminders, family members, friends or trusted neighbours. Key workers should only use schools as a last resort.



  • Priority will be given where both parents are working as key workers, and both parents are out at work at the same time, or in single parent families, if the parent is a key worker and can make no alternative arrangements.
  • Priority will then be given where both parents are working as key workers, but both parents are not out at work at the same time.
  • Where one parent is a key worker, it is expected that the other parent should provide childcare at home. However such cases will also be considered.


Monday 23rd March 2020:

Our school will not have wraparound services available. 

The following opening and closing times will apply: 


  • Nursery  09.00 – 14.00
  • Yrs 1-3  09.00 – 14.00 (Mon – Fri)
  • Yrs 4–7 09.00 - 1500 


Children should wear school uniform, bring a lunch / snack and own pencil cases.


Our staff will primarily be providing childcare as teachers are also required to provide remote learning. 


For key workers where your only childcare option is to send your child to school, we will look after your child in order to support you in your important role; we thank you for your service to our community. 


List of key workers:

  • 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


To help us plan ahead we need to know how many children of key workers are requesting a place! If you are an identified key worker and will be sending your child to school on Monday 23rd, please inform me on, or by midday on Sunday with the following information:


  • Names of Parent(s)
  • Names and classes of pupils requesting a place.

Where both parents are key workers:  

  • Role of father
  • Role of mother

In the case of a single parent identified key worker:

  • Role of parent 

In the case of one parent identified as a key worker:

  • Role of parent


It is hoped to notify parents of places by email on Sunday afternoon. 


And finally:

Children who are vulnerable to infection because of underlying health concerns should not attend school. They should be cared for in the safety of their own homes.


We do not have the facility to provide meals for children on FSMs at the moment although this will change in the days ahead.


I am grateful to my colleagues in Castlereagh Principals’ Group for helping me compile this response.


Yours sincerely,

R Greer