English schools are grappling with the need for keyworker locations

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Parents were encouraged to be honest when demanding that their kids be allowed in class during lockdown

Schools have called on parents to be “completely honest” about whether they are really key employees after calls for hundreds of children to join the class during the recent lockdown were received by several elementary schools.

Across England, although providing distance learning, schools reported struggling to meet the demand for school places.

A primary principal in Greater Manchester said that after receiving 210 applications from key staff, employees had spent all day Wednesday “interviewing parents” some of whom they learned could work from home.

The school had 30 at-risk students and key staff at the school at the start of the first lockdown last March, out of a student population of 500.

Some schools have opted to ignore government advice that kids qualify if only one parent is a “critical worker.” Two-parent families have been forced to show that they do vital work that they can not do at home.

The Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) union urged the government to reconsider the conditions for eligibility, proposing that only if both parents are “critical workers.” can children obtain a position.

The issue has been compounded by the large concept of critical staff by the government, which includes university employees and anyone who may claim to be “essential” in providing food and other essentials.

Universities in London and Manchester have written to their teachers to tell them that even if they remained at home during the initial lockdown, their children could be entitled to a school site.

“It’s hard to find a job that doesn’t fit into most categories,” lamented the head of Greater Manchester.

She said parents went out of their way to keep their kids out of the building, some even inventing fake businesses to bring their case forward. According to her, the scam did not succeed because “other parents found out and called to tell us about it.”

She said she knows how hard it is for parents — “I’m a teacher and I don’t want to homeschool my kids, but right now I have to put the virus first.”
In Bury, Greater Manchester, at Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School, the principal wrote to parents asking them to reconsider.

“We were inundated with parental demands.

We will have more than 50 percent of the student population in school if we were to approve all the requests, as well as the needy children we have requested to come to the school. This goes against the ‘staying home’ national freeze,’ wrote superintendent Joanne Davies.

“She continued, “When applying for a vital worker position, I ask for your full honesty.

I would expect your child to have access to distance learning from home while you work from home or have another adult in the household who is not a vital worker.
There was a limit of 20 percent of children admitted to a school during the first lockout, says Julie McCulloch, ASCL’s policy officer.

If the number of children surpassed that, schools were advised to contact local authorities to help disperse children between schools in order to keep the number down. Now there’s no such limit.

We definitely get some pretty worried messages from representatives across the country who notice that in some situations, 50 percent, 60 percent or even 70 percent of their students meet the requirements when they look at the eligibility criteria for school places,”We’re certainly getting some pretty concerned messages from members around the country who are finding that when they look at the eligibility criteria for school places, in some cases 50 percent , 60 percent or even 70 percent of their students meet the criteria,”We’re certainly getting some pretty concerned messages from members around the country who find that when they look at the eligibility criteria for school places.

Presidents are totally in the dark right now and don’t know whether they should or should say to parents, ‘I’m sorry, we’re full.’ They don’t know what full implies.

When it comes to minimizing permeability in societies, it seems impossible that if just half the children end up in kindergarten, that would be accomplished.

Garry Bridges, Manchester City Council’s executive member for kids and colleges, said local schools have an intense demand for sites.

We have a very large number of children in the disadvantaged categories in Manchester as well as a high number of children who meet the government requirements for essential or main staff. Some of the most vulnerable children in the country and sch sch sch are these vulnerable classes of children.

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