/ Key Workers

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TobyA 19 Mar 2020

So who else today found out they've been called up to fight... errr sorry... told they are a "key worker" in the struggle against coronavirus?

Turns out as a teacher I am, as is my better half as a social worker. Our kids didn't look that impressed when I told them they now qualified to go back to school.

I think as a teacher I'm very much in the rear echelons, making sure the front lines can do the actual fighting. Big respect to the NHS folks and the Social Care people (who often don't get as much attention) and the emergency services and the shop workers and delivery drivers!

1
Darren Jackson 19 Mar 2020
In reply to TobyA:

I work for Yale. I'm a key, key worker. 

NorthernGrit 19 Mar 2020
In reply to TobyA:

Thanks and good luck. If I could I'd swap a child for a while as my daughter is devastated about being off school.

Dave the Rave 19 Mar 2020
In reply to TobyA:

I’m a key worker in a community MDT team preventing admissions and securing early discharges.

Its manic and stressful at the minute.

Actually got thanked by a member of the public today for our hardwork which meant a lot.

In reply to TobyA:

Me and my partner neither currently do front line key roles but are both being assessed to be drafted into those roles within the same organisation.

Stuart (aka brt) 19 Mar 2020
In reply to TobyA:

Hats off to the lot of you. 

Dax H 19 Mar 2020
In reply to TobyA:

I can imagine a lot of pissed off kids who suddenly are not going to get time off. 

I'm in a strange situation, my waterboard contacts have been told they are key workers, water needs to flow and waste needs treating correctly. I'm a key contractor to a water utility but I'm not needed everyday but there have been many times over the years where my intervention has prevented a city losing its water supply or a river filling with raw sewage. 

I doubt we will get official classification but it would be funny if we did just to see the reactions from the kids of some of my employees.

Regardless of official classification I have put my entire stock of parts, kits and hire machines on hold for the waterboard and they will get priority for labour over my other customers. 

toad 19 Mar 2020
In reply to TobyA:

A teacher friend has worked out 60% of the kids in her school are from key workers, which makes a nonsense of the whole idea in her school 

TobyA 19 Mar 2020
In reply to NorthernGrit:

What age? There are lots of teachers on facebook sharing their subject backgrounds and offering to help out remotely if parents are trying to guide their kids through work they are meant to be doing from home. If your daughter has stuff she needs to be doing, we can probably rustle up some teacher support over email or whatever!

My son no.1 was meant to be doing his GCSEs in a few weeks. He's taken it on the chin, but I think mainly because he is a maths geek and understands what "exponential growth" means and can work out what 0.8% of a population of 63 million means . Wish he didn't have to, and could have just geeked out in his exam.

It was really weird in school today - our 10s, 11s, 12s and 13s are still in and the Y11s and 13s were trying to get their heads round tomorrow being their last day of school. Lots of tears and worried faces, but you just have to tell them we'll make it through if we stick together.

wintertree 19 Mar 2020
In reply to Dax H:

> Regardless of official classification I have put my entire stock of parts, kits and hire machines on hold for the waterboard and they will get priority for labour over my other customers. 

But what about the golf course shoe shiners?  

TobyA 19 Mar 2020
In reply to Dave the Rave:

> Actually got thanked by a member of the public today for our hardwork which meant a lot.

I try to always be cheery to people anyway, but I was walking into Aldi the other day and saw a trucker backing up to the unloading bay and gave him a thumbs up. Felt quite silly but he gave me a cheery wave back so I think appreciated it. It's not like it isn't bloody obvious that we rely on an intricate web of connections and peoples' job just to eat, but I think we're all coming to appreciate a lot more!

angry pirate 19 Mar 2020
In reply to TobyA:

My boys are overjoyed "ahem" to learn that they will be back at school when I return from self isolation into teaching, despite the fact that my wife is a supply teacher so will likely be at home to look after them. 

Though it has to be said, teaching your own kids at home is quite a lot harder than a normal class. I do feel for the many parents who have been thrown into this position. 

Dave the Rave 19 Mar 2020
In reply to TobyA:

> I try to always be cheery to people anyway, but I was walking into Aldi the other day and saw a trucker backing up to the unloading bay and gave him a thumbs up. Felt quite silly but he gave me a cheery wave back so I think appreciated it. It's not like it isn't bloody obvious that we rely on an intricate web of connections and peoples' job just to eat, but I think we're all coming to appreciate a lot more!

Spot on. Albeit some people are just tawts and it’s my major bugbear at the minute. 
It’s best we all keep smiling there’s no point in not.

 Boris needs to halt this panic buying and greed though. People are such cents!

TobyA 19 Mar 2020
In reply to Dave the Rave:

>  Boris needs to halt this panic buying and greed though.

Yep, although when you go into the shops and see empty shelves its a very strong urge to grab what you can isn't it? There was a good section on PM on Radio 4 earlier talking to some one (maybe one of supermarket bosses) who said normally supermarkets have two weeks of products in their shops/warehouses - and now they think many people have two weeks of stuff in their cupboards, and that's why there is a problem with supply. He was very firm though that there are no shortages beyond that. But yeah, if you are someone who hasn't panic bought, and don't have a kitchen heaving with stuff, no being able to get what you need from the shop isn't nice at all. Short of rationing - which I imagine is VERY complicated to organise, not totally clear what the answer is though. Police present to back up supermarket policies?

marsbar 19 Mar 2020
In reply to angry pirate:

If your wife is at home your kids should be too.  We've been told both parents (unless a single parent with no contact with other parent) must be key workers.  Many teachers will be at home anyway.  

marsbar 19 Mar 2020
In reply to toad:

It depends if both parents are key workers. 

marsbar 19 Mar 2020
In reply to TobyA:

I understand that tills have been programmed with restrictions and simply won't process more than a certain amount of anything.

Unfortunately it doesn't stop people coming back in or bringing family members. But I'm not sure that is easy to stop anyway. 

Jenny C 19 Mar 2020
In reply to TobyA:

No disrespect to anyone, but I find it vaguely funny that delivery drivers are now classified as key workers.

A type of work which is often characterised by zero hour contracts and low pay are now being singled out for special treatment as they are essential to society.

(I wonder if this will change their treatment for the better in 12 months, with regards workers rights) 

Post edited at 21:32
Dax H 19 Mar 2020
In reply to wintertree:

> But what about the golf course shoe shiners?  

That's actually reminded me, I have 2 golf course show cleaners to go service and I totally forgot about it. The bits I have for them are no good for water work at all so I might as well get them fit and it's a couple more quid in the bank to help us through this. 

Irk the Purist 19 Mar 2020
In reply to marsbar:

If both have to be key parents then I predict a lot of key workers will get a cough soon.

My wife is a part time teacher and is paid much less than me. If I have to now look after children without working we won't be able to pay the mortgage. Many essential, front line staff like teachers, nurses, social workers are paid significantly less than their partners but have secure jobs. It makes no sense financially for these families to prioritise those jobs in this period.

If the country needs them, it needs to make it work for them, for once. The rule should be one parent or shut the schools completely.

1
deepsoup 19 Mar 2020
In reply to TobyA:

>  Police present to back up supermarket policies?

All the big concerts and all the big spectator sport has gone.  That leaves a *lot* of zero-hours stewards/security people with SIA cards and at least some rudimentary training in crowd control, conflict resolution and wotnot with nothing to do, earning no pay.

The police don't have the resources they need to do their own work, without being put on bogroll patrol.  Conversely, Showsec and the like are completely idling at the moment and could rustle up thousands of personnel, who would really appreciate the work right now, at the drop of a hat.

The New NickB 19 Mar 2020
In reply to TobyA:

I was wondering about this, good friend of mine is a Police Inspector, his wife is a Nurse Manager. They have a school age child, however, he has just turned 15 and doesn’t really need looking after, does he stay home, or go to school.

wintertree 19 Mar 2020
In reply to Dax H:

> That's actually reminded me, I have 2 golf course show cleaners to go service and I totally forgot about it. The bits I have for them are no good for water work at all so I might as well get them fit and it's a couple more quid in the bank to help us through this. 

Until a few months ago I had no idea there was a pressure system (under or over?) in shoe shiners.  It’s amazing what one learns through UKC.

John Stainforth 19 Mar 2020
In reply to Darren Jackson:

Lucky you, so you can lock down and unlock at will.

didntcomelast 19 Mar 2020
In reply to Jenny C:

Comically after 30yrs as a front line police officer I understood I was a key worker. After retirement I took on a nice and stress free job as a home shopping delivery driver for a large supermarket.... now I’m back to being a key worker.

It’s a funny old world. 

Andy Hardy 19 Mar 2020
In reply to TobyA:

What I'm finding amazing is that CEOs, bankers, merchant bankers and hedge fund managers are not actually key to anything. Makes you wonder why the world has been shaped to their needs, rather than the needs of actual key workers 🤔

TobyA 19 Mar 2020
In reply to The New NickB:

An attempt at a serious answer: I think it would be a parental decision. Our older kids are in the same position, Y9 and Y11, so old enough to stay home on their own for the day. We're currently still deciding but probably they won't go in.

TobyA 19 Mar 2020
In reply to Jenny C:

It's a totally fair point! Public sector employees who had a pay freeze for a number of years so our salaries shrank taking into account inflation, and people working very hard at the bottom of the private sector often if hard conditions. Those are the key workers! 😄

FactorXXX 19 Mar 2020
In reply to Andy Hardy:

> What I'm finding amazing is that CEOs, bankers, merchant bankers and hedge fund managers are not actually key to anything. Makes you wonder why the world has been shaped to their needs, rather than the needs of actual key workers 🤔

Two sides to every story.
Key Workers are required to ensure that the country runs normally with regards to availability of goods and services, etc.
The ones you are denigrating are required because they run the businesses that provide the money to enable the Key Workers to do their job.
 

15
Stig 19 Mar 2020
In reply to Irk the Purist:

This is pretty much my wife’s argument. She’s a clinical pharmacist in a big teaching hospital. Clearly a key worker, though I’m almost certainly not (academic). We earn about the same but if I cannot do any work at all where is the incentive for her to take on the extra shifts that might be asked of her?

In reply to mars bar:

My brother in law’s a teacher, he’s expecting they’ll make the decisions tomorrow. That said...

My cousin works in a senior role in education in a big council and she says the government implied ‘both’ yesterday but said ‘one’ today but there is still no sign of a list. So who knows.

One things for sure there’ll be people in DfE tonight shitting over this. Big decisions in a short space of time - thankless task!

marsbar 19 Mar 2020
In reply to Irk the Purist:

Can you work from home?  

marsbar 19 Mar 2020
In reply to The New NickB:

He should stay home at 15.  

marsbar 19 Mar 2020
In reply to Stig:

I only know what I've been told which is that the safest thing is for as many kids and adults as possible to be home.  We are basically providing a free babysitting service for those who are needed to fight the virus and those children who are safer in school tha  at home.  The staff who will be in school are risking their health to provide this. In the absence of the actual details from our fridge residing leader who knows what the rules are.  But the intention is clear.  

1
Irk the Purist 19 Mar 2020
In reply to marsbar:

Yes. But not whilst I'm looking after children. They aren't old enough to look after themselves.

Why should my wife have to go and babysit other people's children so they can go to work, when it prevents her own family making ends meet? If we need a national childcare service then ask for volunteers. 

But I'm getting angry about nothing really, they might make the right decision tomorrow.

Post edited at 23:00
2
Dave the Rave 19 Mar 2020
In reply to Andy Hardy:

> What I'm finding amazing is that CEOs, bankers, merchant bankers and hedge fund managers are not actually key to anything. Makes you wonder why the world has been shaped to their needs, rather than the needs of actual key workers 🤔

Hmm. They will have their place to ensure recovery once this initial dilemma is over. When it is and things are straight, we will look forward to equality?

1
mondite 19 Mar 2020
In reply to TobyA:

>  But yeah, if you are someone who hasn't panic bought, and don't have a kitchen heaving with stuff, no being able to get what you need from the shop isn't nice at all. Short of rationing - which I imagine is VERY complicated to organise, not totally clear what the answer is though.

A starting point would be for the media to get a grip and instead of going "no need to panic" whilst being filmed pointing at the empty shelves for them to do those shots in front of a warehouse with lorries calmly leaving and arriving.

Or, more fitting to my temperment, I am sure many of those people get the ten years worth of toilet paper used their reward cards. So block any credit/debit cards associated with abnormal buys. Do the same for those buying more than once. Sure you can work around it with several cards but far more effort.

My assumption though is it will stablise. After all they can only have so much storage space cant they? Once they have 30300 toilet rolls they might feel safe.

marsbar 19 Mar 2020
In reply to Irk the Purist:

She probably wont have to.  If people don't use it who don't need it then only 10% of kids should be in and the teachers who have young children can stay home.  Or she could take your children with her perhaps.  

Toerag 20 Mar 2020
In reply to Irk the Purist:

>  If I have to now look after children without working we won't be able to pay the mortgage.

I'm pretty sure you don't have to pay the mortgage. Go speak to your mortgage lender about payment holidays.

marsbar 20 Mar 2020
In reply to Irk the Purist:

Well you will be pleased to know that you can carry on working and wont have to look after your own children.  Assuming teachers count as key workers and aren't told to go home if they have small children.  

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/19/children-to-attend-school-if-one-parent-classed-as-key-worker

Apparently they can manage one decision after all.  No actual list of who is a key worker but who cares about details eh?  

Stichtplate 20 Mar 2020
In reply to FactorXXX:

> Two sides to every story.

> Key Workers are required to ensure that the country runs normally with regards to availability of goods and services, etc.

> The ones you are denigrating are required because they run the businesses that provide the money to enable the Key Workers to do their job.

What? Hedge fund managers? otherwise know as professional gamblers who don't even have the decency to bet with their own money and were widely held as responsible for the 2008 meltdown? If they all disappeared tomorrow life would carry on pretty much as normal. If binmen went AWOL, we'd all notice pretty damn quickly.

1
Dave the Rave 20 Mar 2020
In reply to The New NickB:

> I was wondering about this, good friend of mine is a Police Inspector, his wife is a Nurse Manager. They have a school age child, however, he has just turned 15 and doesn’t really need looking after, does he stay home, or go to school.

Stays at home, does chores and makes his parents tea/dinner. 

Blue Straggler 20 Mar 2020
In reply to Darren Jackson:

> I work for Yale. I'm a key, key worker. 

Who are you, and how did you get in here ??

Dax H 20 Mar 2020
In reply to wintertree:

> Until a few months ago I had no idea there was a pressure system (under or over?) in shoe shiners.  It’s amazing what one learns through UKC.

Ahh I think you miss understand, its not shoe shine, it's shoe cleaning. They use air compressors regulated to about 4 bar (g) to blow the mud and grass off their shoes. The company I subbi for make a nu e little unit, a oil free compressor in a soundproof box with a tank at the front with a grill over it so you can put your foot on it and use one of the 2 air lines to blow the crud off. 

The Norris 20 Mar 2020
In reply to TobyA:

I work in cancer treatment in the NHS. My key worker colleagues were all very grateful to hear they had one less  stressful thing to worry about (childcare), and could get on with their jobs. So thankyou to the teachers. 

gribble 20 Mar 2020
In reply to TobyA:

Key worker status.  I am jealous.  I'm a child and family therapist, currently working hard and bending my life around hyper anxious parents and teenagers, preventing suicidal behaviour and supporting positive family dynamics, mostly unpaid and in my own time.  My child, who loves school, is now at home mostly on her own.  I'm a single parent and she's a single child.  The maths of time management doesn't add up!

However, because I work privately and no longer in the NHS, it appears I don't tick the required box.  If I drop out, my caseload goes straight to the NHS and it will be messy.  I guess there will always be some of us who fall through the cracks.

Coel Hellier 20 Mar 2020
In reply to toad:

> A teacher friend has worked out 60% of the kids in her school are from key workers, which makes a nonsense of the whole idea in her school 

It does seem that perhaps the "close schools" decision is more about the clamour to "do something", rather than actually being the best policy.  

We do have to keep society functioning, even if that means putting up with deaths.   I know that sounds callous. But realistically we can't just close everything down until a vaccine comes along. 

2
galpinos 20 Mar 2020
In reply to TobyA:

I'm not, but my wife is (Doctor, medical oncologist specialising in lung, probably to be redeployed to a more front-line role in the future but trying to still run a full service at the moment.

My eldest, about to turn 7, isn't excited about school being closed*. She is very aware that this is "not normal" and would much prefer to still be going to school than moving into the bizarre limbo state we are all about to enter.

*Not quite sure about what we will be doing next week as my youngest has a poor immune system and collapsed a lobe in her lung before Christmas so we are slightly concerned about her.

Andy Hardy 20 Mar 2020
In reply to FactorXXX:

> Two sides to every story.

> Key Workers are required to ensure that the country runs normally with regards to availability of goods and services, etc.

> The ones you are denigrating are required because they run the businesses that provide the money to enable the Key Workers to do their job.

I'm not denigrating anyone. I'm pointing out that when the chips come down "key workers" do not include those groups. Just like mass distorts space-time to create gravity, it seems to me that wealth has been distorting politics to create or increase inequalities. 

galpinos 20 Mar 2020
NorthernGrit 20 Mar 2020
In reply to TobyA:

Thank you for the offer. The schoolwork bit I think we can sort (and similar offers of groups are going on here). The lack of routine and social interaction is a bit more difficult.

TobyA 20 Mar 2020
In reply to The Norris:

> I work in cancer treatment in the NHS. My key worker colleagues were all very grateful to hear they had one less  stressful thing to worry about (childcare), and could get on with their jobs. So thankyou to the teachers. 

My dad went through chemo a year or so ago and is now much better (just as well because he needs to look after my mum, who has quite advanced Parkinson's, over the next few months!), but anyway, thank you very much back at you NHS folks!

Post edited at 09:14
angry pirate 20 Mar 2020
In reply to marsbar:

This is our current dilemma. As we are both teachers, we are classed as key workers but as my wife is currently supply teaching the odds of her making it onto a rota is pretty remote so commuting the boys to school just to sit by a phone seems pretty daft!

Smith42 20 Mar 2020
In reply to Toerag:

I asked for payment holiday and was told no problem but I will still be charged interest at the lending rate which has not been cut yet in line with base rate. 

Banks still out to make a profit.

nikoid 20 Mar 2020
In reply to TobyA:

> Short of rationing - which I imagine is VERY complicated to organise, not totally clear what the answer is though. Police present to back up supermarket policies?

Well they could start by taking the trollies away and just have hand baskets. That would certainly slow up the shelves emptying.

DancingOnRock 20 Mar 2020
In reply to Andy Hardy:

Anyone working in Banking services is a key worker. 
 

All this Key Worker stuff is just more softening up for when the lockdown comes. 
 

Up to now there haven’t been the laws in place to shut down private businesses like restaurants and bars or to interfere with supermarket business models. 
 

There’s some temporary legislation going through today that’s going to change all that. 
 

I’m currently a key worker. I suspect the descriptions will be revised daily until only the most essential are left moving around. 

Dave Garnett 20 Mar 2020
In reply to TobyA:

> So who else today found out they've been called up to fight...

Not me, I know my place!  More to the point I can do most of what I need to do working at home, which I generally do anyway (although I did almost get stranded in US earlier this week).   

Part of me thinks I should really be going back to my previous life and helping with the vaccine efforts but I'm sure the supply of competent immunologists isn't the rate limiting step of the process.  At least I work for the main manufacturer of the testing kits in the US.

DancingOnRock 20 Mar 2020
In reply to Smith42:

Banks still have staff they have to pay. As do all these businesses. Assuming you work for someone, what happens when people don’t buy whatever you sell/make?

Hopefully, food parcels and some kind of subsistence pay is being planned for anyone not working. 
 

Which may bring down a lot of entitlement I’m seeing on Social media where people are complaining about their A level grades! 

DancingOnRock 20 Mar 2020
In reply to TobyA:

France has just stopped it postal service. 

TobyA 20 Mar 2020
In reply to Dave Garnett:

I meant to message you to see if you had got back. Glad to hear you have! Was it epic feeling like the evacuation of Saigon? Or just an eerily quiet normal flight?

I did wonder whether scientists in other fields would get drafted into to support people working on CV. My plant science assistant professor friend says he thinks he wouldn't be much help as he doesn't have relevant skills, but I've seen posts about other departments taking very specialist equipment over to med schools, or drug research groups etc at unis so they can do more.

earlsdonwhu 20 Mar 2020
In reply to TobyA:

At the moment, everyone is super grateful for the efforts of the relatively poorly paid folk on the frontline but I wonder how long this sort of attitude will persist when all this is over. Naive it may be, but it would be great if there were some rebalancing so that eg. city bankers got less and care workers got more remuneration in the future. I know the bankers bring in loads of money to the economy and we will need that to be rebuilt for the benefit of all sectors. I am not trying to make it into some socialist rant but this could be a turning point where the worth of people is reassessed.

DancingOnRock 20 Mar 2020
In reply to earlsdonwhu:

It will when they all get laid off and have to live on £2.4k a month. 

Dave Garnett 20 Mar 2020
In reply to TobyA:

> I meant to message you to see if you had got back. Glad to hear you have! Was it epic feeling like the evacuation of Saigon? Or just an eerily quiet normal flight?

Not quite Saigon but there was quite a long and nervous queue at the BA check-in in an otherwise eerily quiet San Diego airport.  The plane was completely full and the next day's flight was already cancelled.  If I'd stuck to my original flight (scheduled to arrive today) I think I would have been on a rescue flight out through LAX.  Heathrow was in the process of shutting down when we came through.  BA crews I spoke to were nervous they might be scheduled on a flight to somewhere they couldn't then get back from.

Mostly I worry that I spent 8 hours in close proximity to 400+ other passengers from god knows where...  

earlsdonwhu 20 Mar 2020
In reply to TobyA:

I am glad I retired from teaching... I have no idea how random kids are going to be taught/or just entertained. How will the practicalities of pooling kids from several schools work? What happens if kids don't do any work at home online? How does a Head decide which staff are needed? Providing predicted grades was always difficult: even with a load of data available parents would object. If some staff are needed through the Easter holidays, will they get paid extra? 

Good luck to all those, in whatever profession and in whatever country, who are having to 'muddle' through. Stay safe.

jkarran 20 Mar 2020
In reply to TobyA:

> Short of rationing - which I imagine is VERY complicated to organise, not totally clear what the answer is though. Police present to back up supermarket policies?

There's going to have to be rationing, at the very least of numbers able to access the shops so as to break up the crowds, one in one out, get them dispersed while they wait rather than jostling at tills, these crowds are a time-bomb which will go off in the next couple of weeks. A marshalling job for the forces I suspect if the supermarkets can't do it and assuming we don't all sit back on what we've got and start eating it.

jk

Post edited at 18:33
jkarran 20 Mar 2020
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> We do have to keep society functioning, even if that means putting up with deaths.   I know that sounds callous. But realistically we can't just close everything down until a vaccine comes along. 

No but we can still (probably if we act decisively) nip off the explosion of onward transmission from the current reservoir of infected people then with careful monitoring throttle restrictions to balance emergency services load and economic productivity until the situation becomes easier to manage one way or another. Throttling restrictions, allowing more people to die so others can work is politically toxic but then it was 'plan A', the problem is in 'plan B' we'll have seen a lot of death and 'defeat' of the virus before it's deliberately allowed to re-emerge.

jk

Post edited at 18:28
wercat 20 Mar 2020
In reply to jkarran:

if they use troops to do public order then we can kill 2 birds with one stone.  Drill sergeants can train the waiting shoppers in drill, spaced 2 metres apart in a neat formation.  Excercise done!

TobyA 20 Mar 2020
In reply to Dave Garnett:

> Mostly I worry that I spent 8 hours in close proximity to 400+ other passengers from god knows where...  

Yeah, have a look at this thread though of a British guy with his Chinese partner going back to their home in Beijing. Have a look at the photos of what other people on the flight were wearing! https://twitter.com/LukasHenselEcon/status/1240494951177302016

I think its impressive in a terrifying way!

aln 20 Mar 2020
In reply to jkarran:

> one in one out,

A pharmacy local to me had a big queue outside today, 1 in 1 out, but 2 in the place at a time.

aln 20 Mar 2020
In reply to TobyA:

I'm amazed that there are flights into China.

DancingOnRock 20 Mar 2020
In reply to TobyA:

Rationing would be pretty simple if you find a way of linking all the loyalty cards to a central database. They’re probably already SQL. Scan loyalty card first to identify you, that then checks what you bought this week and won’t let you scan item if you are over your allowance. 
 

The people who have bought the pasta and toilet rolls are already known to the supermarkets and can be traced. Beauty of cashless society. 

Post edited at 19:25
LastBoyScout 20 Mar 2020
In reply to marsbar:

Actual gov link is here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers

My wife was informed today that she is a key worker, as her company is a manufacturer and distributor of food products, so we should qualify for a school place.

I am still working, albeit from home, as my company is not shutting down - we are an IT supplier to UK local government and I am one of only 3 people in the country that can fix issues in the software, but I am not classified as a key worker.

The school have told us that we can't have a place, as they are only running at 20% capacity, I am working from home and they have to prioritize vulnerable/at risk kids and those where both parents are key workers.

It's going to be hard - we're both going to have to tag-team around looking after/home schooling the kids and working, with her mostly working during the day and me catching up in the evenings.

Darron 20 Mar 2020
In reply to Jenny C:

Yes, I noticed that. Key workers have been formally identified. Many at the lower end of the pay spectrum and not a millionaire in sight. So, Mr Martin, I notice you are not included. Maybe have a think about that.

Note: I do appreciate the above is largely bullocks .......just feel the need to sound off 😊

Deleted bagger 21 Mar 2020
In reply to TobyA:

My son works for Network Rail and partner for Jet2. Both have been told they are key workers. The household's 9 year old wasn't impressed; that would be a massive understatement............

Interestingly my son tells me the Network Rail are looking at rescheduling major works because there will be fewer trains. More overnight track processions will be available.

marsbar 21 Mar 2020
In reply to gribble:

Have you tried speaking to your childs headteacher?  

They may be able to be flexible.  

Alternatively can you work over skype or facetime?  

Not ideal but safer than face to face contact.  

marsbar 21 Mar 2020
In reply to LastBoyScout:

Its safer for your family for your child to be at home.  They haven't shut schools for no reason.  People are dying and more are going to.  

1
NBR 21 Mar 2020
In reply to TobyA:

The whole sitituation is extremly tricky.

I'm a supply teacher so for now my work/income has dried up, although talking to the deputy head at a School I work in a lot I may well be needed soon. Frankly if they need me to volunteer even I will, these are unusual times.

This is new ground for schools and much is uncear. It has been made clear that schools are now in a care not education mode for those key worker's children, but are to upload online work for those at home which is a slight mismatch.

When the govt came up with their plan I don't think they realised how many teachers where 'vunerable people' at my regular school the faculty I work with had 2 pregnant, 1 type 1 diabetic and someone with severe asthma, that's nearly half the faculty already 'off the board'.

As things progress the ability of schools to provide a safe environment will become less and less feasable. I would ask that even if you qualify please keep kids at home if at all possible to reduce the load.

I know that the schools I have links with are really trying hard to make this work, the teachers are stepping up even although it means putting themselves at risk. Lets be honest even with the best will in the World kids are unhygenic little whatsits. Maybe when we are through this certain sections of the media might consider not slagging teachers off so much.

LastBoyScout 21 Mar 2020
In reply to marsbar:

> Its safer for your family for your child to be at home.  They haven't shut schools for no reason.  People are dying and more are going to.  

Yes, I understand that, and I fully support the school's position. My point was more that what the government are saying and what's actually happening aren't the same.

Which doesn't take away from the fact that we somehow have to both work effectively and look after 2 kids.

Note to self - must include more detail in posts sometimes

marsbar 21 Mar 2020
In reply to LastBoyScout:

Probably because the school weren't given the information to plan in good time.  Schools have been getting the information at the same time as everyone else.  Conformation of the key workers appears to have come after midnight Friday morning, until that point schools were working on assumption and draft ideas.  

Alyson 21 Mar 2020
In reply to TobyA:

Just before close of play yesterday my employer (local authority) announced that every single employee qualifies as a key worker - on the basis that they may want to move us into assisting with a critical function at some point in the forthcoming weeks. To me it seems to go against the spirit and purpose of the school closures if I pack my daughter off to school next week then potter into the office to get on with checking through a few planning applications, alongside all my other colleagues (we can't work from home as we don't have the IT resources). I feel I'd be risking passing the virus on to the child of an actual key worker in a vital role.

Having talked it over with my manager I'm going to stay off work for now but I'm worrying they might refuse to pay me (breaking the terms of my contract?) I dunno. These are crazy times and it's hard to know what's expected of us.

mattsccm 21 Mar 2020
In reply to TobyA:

A school on Friday it started to get a bit strange. Very sad as the Y6 kids realised that they may be leaving for the last time.  Well some of them. As the key worker list appeared it looked like we may see over 50% of them on Monday. Alright 50% of 55 isn't much but the principles there. To my mind a family with one key worker should not be getting an automatic right for the kids to be in school unless something like exceptional hardship is an issue. If one parent can work from home they should do and baby sit the kids as well.

My situation may well change any way as 8 staff means we don't have many to spare.  2 have kids, one very fragile with various conditions and one with two toddlers and only a very old granny to look after them now the nurserys have closed. Both need to stay home.  My parents are most fragile and I am their only fetcher and carrier so would prefer to stay healthy and so it goes on.

My feeling is that ranting solves nowt. No one really knows what is happening, nothing can be planned for and community spirit is the best bet. 

Stig 21 Mar 2020
In reply to Alyson:

My sister works for a district council in enviro health and she says they're being redeployed soon to tasks such as delivering food and arranging welfare funerals. She spent last week arranging licences for restaurants to do take aways!

On the one hand it's a damning indictment of local government that planners can't work from home (again, relatives have said the same about their councils, you don't even need anything more than very basic IT to work from home); on the other I do think LA workers are for the most part frontline in the sense of being a key part of the state.


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