Dundonald Primary School 'Together we...Inspire, Believe, Achieve'

Key Support Parents' Provision


Together we … Aspire, Believe, Achieve


20 March 2020


Dear Parents

Last night the Minister announced that all schools would be open on from Monday 23 March (from P1 to P7) to support identified Key Workers.

Our aim at Dundonald Primary remains to keep the number of children in school to an absolute minimum. We have been asked to facilitate pupils in school whose parents are critical to the Covid-19 team who would have otherwise no option but to stay at home. Therefore, this would apply to sole parents and families where both parents are key workers. Children who do not fall into these groups should remain at home. The following headings have been provided, more detail is to be published by the Minister.

  • Health and Social Care: doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers and home carers.

  • Education and Childcare: education professionals who remain active during Covid-19 response.

  • Public Safety and National Security: police, fire and rescue, prison.

  • Those keeping air, water, road and rail transport modes operating.

  • Utilities: staff needed for oil, gas, electricity and water and key staff in telecommunications, post and waste disposal.

  • Food production and processing and those essential to the provision of key goods (e.g. hygiene, medical).

  • Key national and local government.

It is vitally important that we are aware of how many children of key workers will be attending school on Monday morning. With this in mind, if you are in the above category as a sole parent or both parents, and intend sending your child/ren to school on Monday, please telephone or email the office on 02890482680 or 3pm today. Please give your child’s name, year group and what key worker group you fall into.

Please note:

  • only children with both parents working as key workers and both parents out at work at the same time should consider sending their child to school

  • in single parent families, the main carer must be a key worker

  • if you work part-time we would state that pupils are only to be in on working days.

  • If possible, alternative childcare arrangements should be sought before deciding to send you child to school. Please try to use the school as a last resort. This will limit the number of children & adults together in a small space in line with social distancing.

We are a large school and already working with a depleted staff. Parents must only use this provision if absolutely necessary. We will have a skeleton staff of teachers and support staff working in school from Monday.

Please consider the following:

  • Staff will be performing childcare/supervision duties only, rather than teaching.  Staff will supervise the pupils on completion of activities in their home learning packs.

  • School will not be able to operate a “normal” school day

  • When in school the pupils may be in composite year group classes

  • To promote social distancing (children sitting 2 metres apart) the numbers of pupils in each classroom will be limited

  • As we are working with a reduced staff, in all likelihood your child will not be supervised by their own teacher or year teacher

  • Lunch at this point will be via packed lunch only.

  • School will be open from 9am to 2pm or 9am to 3pm (age dependent)

  • There will be no after school activities or Sunshine Club.

  • Children attending will be required to wear school uniform

Please note my understanding of “vulnerable pupils” are those accessing some services such as counselling. More information is to be provided later.

Following medical advice, children in our school with underlying health conditions, or children who share a home with someone who is vulnerable, should not be sent to school.

I want to make it very clear and assure parents that the educational opportunities for all our Dundonald pupils is equal at this time. Teachers will therefore not be teaching but supervising. Although the Minister wishes to keep the numbers of pupils in schools at a minimum, we fully understand the need to support you in your vital role and if you send your child to DPS we will continue to care for them.

Yours sincerely

Julian Byers