TEACHERS have expressed their concern over the number of children of key workers attending school.

Guidance on which children can attend school was updated by the Department for Education (DfE) on Friday evening.

Only children of critical workers, and vulnerable children, should attend school, while all other students will receive remote education.

However it is the number of workers deemed ‘critical’ which is irking schools.

See also: Which children can still go in to school?

One South Oxfordshire primary school teacher, who wished to remain anonymous, said that along with other members of staff at her school, and friends at other local schools, she was growing ‘increasingly exasperated’ by the situation with key worker places in schools.

She added: “During the previous lockdown, our school had a small handful of children attending.

“This meant that we could put a rota in place, not only giving staff more time to designate to online learning and supporting parents and children having to home-school but also taking staff with young children out of the rota altogether, allowing for less children to be mixing in school.

“However, this lockdown has been a very different picture.

Read also: MINI plant set to reopen despite lockdown

“The most frustrating part is that there are a large proportion of children who do not need to be in school but choose to do so because they qualify.

“Unbelievably, there are also parents who, although they qualify as a key worker because of one parents’ position, the other parent does not work and still, their children are sent into school full-time.

“Schools were shut for a reason, and yet it seems they are not really shut at all.

“Parents who are choosing to send their children to school when they do not absolutely need to seemingly have no regard for anyone else.”

The teacher added that her ‘small school’ is a third full with more children continually added to the list.

See more: Gymnastics club set for new home after 30 years

Meanwhile, Karen Donaghey, headteacher at St Barnabas’ CE Primary School in Oxford, issued a letter to parents and carers on Monday outlining the problem.

The letter read: “We are concerned today that we still have parents booking places in school when they are not critical workers involved in the Covid response.

“The Government’s new guidance is clear. People should work at home if possible and children should be at home.

“For the safety and protection of all the adults and children who are coming into school, we will provide places for the children of those parents who work on the frontline on a daily basis providing key support services.”

DfE guidance states children with at least one parent or carer who is a critical worker can go to school or college if required, but parents and carers should keep their children at home if they can.

Keep up to date with all the latest news on our website, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

For news updates straight to your inbox, sign up to our newsletter here.

Have you got a story for us? Contact our newsdesk on news@nqo.com or 01865 425 445.