Coronavirus: DfE reveals lockdown rules for Leicester schools

The Department for Education has revealed its local lockdown rules for schools in Leicester ahead of them closing from tomorrow (Thursday). 

The city and surrounding areas have seen lockdown measures come back into place due to a rise in coronavirus cases, including the government advising against all non-essential travel to, from and within the defined areas. 

Schools will only remain open for vulnerable children and children of key workers. 

In guidance published this afternoon, the DfE confirmed vulnerable children and key worker pupils are permitted to travel into and out of the affected areas for education and care – or in the case of vulnerable children to attend a meeting with social workers or family courts. 

This also includes parents taking children to school. 

Critical workers – which includes education staff – are permitted to travel into and out of the lockdown areas to go to work, in order to maintain provision for vulnerable children and children of key workers.

However, they say no other children should travel in and out of the restricted area to attend education or care. 

The guidance reads: “For example, if you are a child or young person (other than a vulnerable child or child of a critical worker) that lives in Leicester but attends school or college outside the affected area, you must stay at home. 

“Likewise, if you live outside Leicester and travel into the city or the affected parts of Leicestershire for education or childcare, you must stay at home.”

The guidance urges those having to attend school to walk or cycle “wherever possible” and avoid public transport. If they use public transport, those over the age of 11 are required to wear a face covering while travelling. 

The guidance also says if a setting is unable to open for children in priority groups, local authorities, schools, and trusts should “work collaboratively to agree the most appropriate solution locally”. 

Regional schools commissioners (RSCs) can support these conversations, and those between local authorities where necessary, it adds.

A Leicester City Council spokesperson said today: “In line with the latest government guidance, all schools in Leicester will remain open to vulnerable children and children of keyworkers until the end of term.

“Where there is no take-up of this provision, individual schools may chose to close but will be prepared to reopen as and when required.”