The 5 strangest 'key worker' claims received by schools

Children with one key worker parent can attend school in lockdown but some families seem to be taking the (dog) biscuit
6th January 2021, 1:29pm
Catherine Lough

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The 5 strangest 'key worker' claims received by schools

https://www.tes.com/magazine/archived/5-strangest-key-worker-claims-received-schools
Coronavirus School Closures: Does A Dog Walker Classify As A Key Worker?

Heads and teachers say they are being inundated with requests from parents keen for their children to go to school during lockdown.

In some cases, these requests have come from key, or critical, workers whose children - along with pupils classed as vulnerable - have a right to attend school under government guidance.

The government's list of key workers includes NHS frontline staff, teachers, social workers, charity staff delivering essential services, food production workers, journalists reporting the impact of the coronavirus on public services and bank workers, among many others.

Coronavirus school closures: Parents' claims to be 'key workers'

It also now includes parents whose work is critical to the "EU transition response".

And many more key workers appear to be applying to take up this right during the latest lockdown compared with last spring, according to heads.


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But some parents appear to be somewhat stretching the definition of "key worker" beyond the official list in their bid to get their children back into schools during the national lockdown.

Ben Brown, head of the education network Education Roundtables, said that one parent had justified their position as a key worker by saying, "I'm a dog walker but many of the dogs are owned by NHS staff."

What claims are parents making for Key Worker status because of vagaries in the definitions? Add the oddest/most ridiculous you have heard of below.

I'll start...

"I'm a dog walker but many of the dogs are owned by NHS staff"

- Ben Brown ? (@EdRoundtables) January 5, 2021

Another reported that a parent had said they were a florist and sold apples by the till, which counted as "food distribution".

And one parent said that they were a key worker because they worked with horses.

"I work with Horses, so can he come in for 2-3 days" was the best one from yesterday....

- Lloyd Davies (@lloyddavies84) January 6, 2021

Another parent said they had to send their child in because they had a new puppy that needed care.

We've got a new puppy we need to look after

- Emma B #TVTTagTeam ??‍?YR6 (@oozogg) January 5, 2021

Mr Brown said he had also been told by parents trying for a new baby that they wanted their child in school.

"My partner doesn't work as a key worker but we are trying for a baby so would like {child} in school some days...

- Ben Brown ? (@EdRoundtables) January 5, 2021

Teachers online have condemned parents for "making up" reasons for their child to attend school at such a fraught time for schools.

It's not even a joke. I heard a good few people I know make up reasons to get their kids in, l've also spoken to a parent who had a complete meltdown cos she was putting their, 'lives on the line so people could go to the bank', (over 75s day out she called it).

- Monimonimoni (@monimetblu) January 6, 2021

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