Coronavirus - Public Health Information


Guidance for schools, colleges and local authorities on maintaining educational provision

Published 19 March 2020

As a country, we all need to do what we can to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

That is why the government has given clear guidance on self-isolationhousehold isolation and social distancing.

And the most recent scientific advice on how to further limit the spread of COVID-19 is clear. If children can stay safely at home, they should, to limit the chance of the virus spreading.

That is why the government has asked parents to keep their children at home, wherever possible, and asked schools to remain open only for those children who absolutely need to attend.

It is important to underline that schools, colleges and other educational establishments remain safe places for children. But the fewer children making the journey to school, and the fewer children in educational settings, the lower the risk that the virus can spread and infect vulnerable individuals in wider society.

Schools are, therefore, being asked to continue to provide care for a limited number of children - children who are vulnerable and children whose parents are critical to the Covid-19 response and cannot be safely cared for at home.

Vulnerable children include children who are supported by social care, those with safeguarding and welfare needs, including child in need plans, on child protection plans, ‘looked after’ children, young carers, disabled children and those with education, health and care (EHC) plans.

We know that schools will also want to support other children facing social difficulties and we will support head teachers to do so.

Parents whose work is critical to the COVID-19 response include those who work in health and social care and in other key sectors outlined below. Many parents working in these sectors may be able to ensure their child is kept at home. And every child who can be safely cared for at home should be.

Please, therefore, follow these key principles:

  1. If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be.

  2. If a child needs specialist support, is vulnerable or has a parent who is a critical worker, then educational provision will be available for them.

  3. Parents should not rely for childcare upon those who are advised to be in the stringent social distancing category such as grandparents, friends, or family members with underlying conditions.

  4. Parents should also do everything they can to ensure children are not mixing socially in a way which can continue to spread the virus. They should observe the same social distancing principles as adults.

  5. Residential special schools, boarding schools and special settings continue to care for children wherever possible.

If your work is critical to the COVID-19 response, or you work in one of the critical sectors listed below, and you cannot keep your child safe at home then your children will be prioritised for education provision:

Health and social care

This includes but is not limited to doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers, care workers, and other frontline health and social care staff including volunteers; the support and specialist staff required to maintain the UK’s health and social care sector; those working as part of the health and social care supply chain, including producers and distributers of medicines and medical and personal protective equipment.

Education and childcare

This includes nursery and teaching staff, social workers and those specialist education professionals who must remain active during the COVID-19 response to deliver this approach.

Key public services

This includes those essential to the running of the justice system, religious staff, charities and workers delivering key frontline services, those responsible for the management of the deceased, and journalists and broadcasters who are providing public service broadcasting.

Local and national government

This only includes those administrative occupations essential to the effective delivery of the COVID-19 response or delivering essential public services such as the payment of benefits, including in government agencies and arms length bodies.

Food and other necessary goods

This includes those involved in food production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery as well as those essential to the provision of other key goods (for example hygienic and veterinary medicines).

Public safety and national security

This includes police and support staff, Ministry of Defence civilians, contractor and armed forces personnel (those critical to the delivery of key defence and national security outputs and essential to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic), fire and rescue service employees (including support staff), National Crime Agency staff, those maintaining border security, prison and probation staff and other national security roles, including those overseas.


This includes those who will keep the air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating during the COVID-19 response, including those working on transport systems through which supply chains pass.

Utilities, communication and financial services

This includes staff needed for essential financial services provision (including but not limited to workers in banks, building societies and financial market infrastructure), the oil, gas, electricity and water sectors (including sewerage), information technology and data infrastructure sector and primary industry supplies to continue during the COVID-19 response, as well as key staff working in the civil nuclear, chemicals, telecommunications (including but not limited to network operations, field engineering, call centre staff, IT and data infrastructure, 999 and 111 critical services), postal services and delivery, payments providers and waste disposal sectors.

If workers think they fall within the critical categories above they should confirm with their employer that, based on their business continuity arrangements, their specific role is necessary for the continuation of this essential public service.

If your school is closed then please contact your local authority, who will seek to redirect you to a local school in your area that your child, or children, can attend.

We are grateful for the work of teachers and workers in educational settings for continuing to provide for the children of the other critical workers of our country. It is an essential part of our national effort to combat this disease.


Crown copyright


19th March 8am

Dear Parents and Carers,

As you may be aware, the government announced yesterday that schools will close tomorrow (Friday 20th March)  until further notice, except for the children of key workers.  The government has said that they are following scientific advice and are working to keep disruption to a minimum.

The announcement mentioned NHS staff, emergency services and transport services as key workers.  We are keen, as you are, to have more detail on this announcement.  More detail has been promised this morning.

We respectfully ask that you do not contact the school office except to report a child’s absence.  We will organise a way online to collect the necessary detail from parents. The office staff and school leaders will be extremely busy making necessary arrangements. We will write to you via School Spider when we have updated information

Please be assured that we are committed to supporting our families, staff and the Rainford community and will be working hard to put plans in place that effectively do this.  The school is open as normal today and tomorrow.

Kind regards

Mrs Richardson



17th March 2020


Dear Parent or Carer


With the most recent government update provided last night it has become even more apparent that we all need to be vigilant and act quickly in order to reduce social contact and the spread of disease. 


If any of your family members display symptoms of illness including a new cough and/or a high temperature then everyone within that household must isolate for 14 days.


Please do not send children to school if they have any symptoms of illness. We are fully aware of the pressures upon working parents and will remain open for as long as possible and safe but the more illnesses that come into school the more pupils and staff we will lose to absence.


We are asking all parents to follow government recommendations around people who fall into the most vulnerable group. If your child has underlying health conditions, which make them, more susceptible to illness please keep them at home. There will be many parents who are themselves or live with someone who have a chronic illness If those parents wish to keep their child off school to reduce social contact then this along with any other decision to take necessary precaution will not affect attendance percentage. Your child’s health and the health of their family members supersedes everything.


Please do phone in or report absence as normal. 


Every family’s situation is different so please make the decision that is best for your family and their wellbeing. For any medical advice, please seek this from


As a school, we are increasing our health and safety measures. We are taking the step of cancelling a number of extra-curricular clubs e.g. Zumba, Mindfulness, Spanish, David Campbell Soccer and Major Sports Clubs and extra music tuition run by Schools’ Music Service from today in order to reduce the number of people coming into school and any unnecessary contact.  We will continue to run Breakfast and After School Clubs for as long as possible.


Thank you for your continued support.


Yours sincerely

Mrs Richardson



13th March 2020


Dear Parents


Coronavirus COVID–19


We receive regular information direct from Public Health England.


We are currently planning to run all clubs, lessons, booster classes and trips as normal next week, based upon our latest advice. However, the advice that we receive is being updated constantly as the national situation changes.


We now have a page on our website, in view of this, to reflect our school’s position. Please consult this, to be sure of our latest position, under the “Information” tab.


We are not aware of any current infections within the school.  However, the current advice is that If children have a new cough or fever they are not to be sent into school but to remain at home for seven days.

If you have a confirmed infection in your family, please advise the school.


Current control measures in school


All visitors, staff and children are asked to wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds when entering the building or classroom.  Children also wash their hands prior to eating e.g. snack and lunch times. 


The cleaners are using an approved disinfectant throughout the school daily and handles are being disinfected throughout the day.


From next week, water fountains will not be used.  Please send in a water bottle with your child.  Children will be encouraged to drink water every 15 minutes.


For the time being we will try to reduce contact through doing class assemblies rather than whole school assemblies and reduce the number of children in the hall at one time.


Kind regards




Mrs Richardson









Contact the School

Rainford C E Primary School

Cross Pit Lane
St Helens
WA11 8AJ

Main Contact: Jayne Owens (Office)

Tel: 01744 883281
Fax: 01744 886495