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Key Workers

Question for Department for Education

UIN 135925, tabled on 11 January 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if the Government will publish an updated definition of key worker.

Answered on

19 January 2021

We have made guidance available on “Children of critical workers and vulnerable children who can access schools or educational settings”. The document sets out the high level role-types for which the children of critical workers would be considered eligible to continue to attend school. The list in the guidance is not exhaustive, but it should offer sufficient information to help parents and carers to identify if their work falls under one of the umbrella groups. The guidance is available here:

Parents whose work is critical to the COVID-19 and EU transition response include those who work in health and social care and in other key sectors. Children with at least one parent or carer who is a critical worker can go to school if required. Schools should speak to parents and carers to identify who needs to go to school, and parents and carers who are critical workers should keep their children at home if they can.

The Department knows that every school will have a different number of children of critical workers who need to attend. It is important that on-site provision is provided for these pupils. There is no limit to the numbers of these pupils who may attend, and schools should not limit attendance of these groups. We expect schools to work with critical worker parents to ensure their child is given access to a place if it is required, so that parents can continue providing vital services.

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