THE Government has officially closed all schools until the summer, expect for children of key workers.

But who counts as a key workers and what are the requirements for children to head in to school during the pandemic? Here is what is expected to happen.

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Who are key workers?

Key workers are people in roles that play a crucial part in Britain's fight against coronavirus.

The Government has named these roles which includes nurses, police officers and delivery drivers.

As a result, their children will be allowed back to school from Monday, while the rest of the nation's students will be exempt from entering the classroom.

Full government guidelines here.

This is how the government defines the groups of key workers:

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.

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 and more.


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, data infrastructure sector and more.

Do both parents need to be key workers for their children to remain in school?

No – they do not. Children with at least one parent who is classified as a key worker will be allowed to remain in school.

A skeleton network of schools and nurseries will remain open for the children of key workers where they will be supervised during the day.

But they will not be taught the national curriculum due to the fact all exams in May and June have been cancelled.

It is the first time the school examinations have not gone ahead since the system was put in place in 1888.

Latest on school closures due to coronavirus

In a live broadcast, Prime Minister Boris Johnson  announced that schools across the whole of the UK will be closed after today (March 20) as Britain tries to contain the coronavirus outbreak.

Secretary of State for Education Gavin Williamson promised that free school meals will continue for everyone who needs it – likely in the form of supermarket vouchers.

Boris told the nation on Thursday evening that the spread was "slowing" as a result of the draconian measures he put in place this week.

The PM explained: "We believe the steps we have already taken, together with those I am announcing today, are already slowing the spread of the disease.

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