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Coronavirus: 'Essential' key workers list revealed who can still send children to school

Coronavirus: 'Essential' key workers list revealed who can still send children to school

Published by May Norman at 6:37am 20th March 2020.

Government releases full list of workers deemed "essential" to the COVID-19 response

  • Ministers have released a list of key workers who'll be able to send their kids into school to allow them to keep on working during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • It includes frontline health and social care staff, employees in food production and delivery as well as those in utilities - including the gas, electricity and water sectors.

The Department for Education has published a list of “key workers” whose children will be prioritised for schooling during general closures because of coronavirus.

Schools are being asked to continue to provide care for a number of children but will be closed to the majority from Monday (23 March).

The list has been separated into eight categories:

Health and social care

Includes frontline health and social care staff - such as doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, as well as support and specialist staff in the health and social care sector. In addition, those working in supply chains, including producers and distributors of medicines and personal protective equipment are included.

Education and childcare

Includes nursery, teaching staff and social workers, as the department said these workers are required to deliver their plans.

Key public services

Those required to run the justice system, religious staff, as well as those responsible for managing the deceased and journalists providing public service broadcasting are on the list.

Local and national government

The list "only includes administrative occupations essential to the effective delivery of the COVID-19 response or delivering essential public services", including payment of benefits.

Food and other necessary goods

Includes those involved in the production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery of food.

Public safety and national security

Police, support staff, Ministry of Defence civilian staff and armed forces personnel are on the list, along with fire and rescue staff, as well as those responsible for border security, prison and probation staff.


Includes those who will keep "air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating during the COVID-19 response".

Utilities, communication and financial services

Staff required to keep oil, gas, electricity, water and sewerage operations running are on the list, along with those in the civil nuclear, chemical and telecommunications sectors. Those in postal services and working to provide essential financial services provision are also included.

The parents of vulnerable children are the other group of people allowed to continue sending their children to school.