A SCHOOL in Chard is calling on parents to help keep up children's education as the nation is forced to stay at home during the coronavirus lockdown.

Yesterday, (Wednesday, March 19) the Prime Minister announced that schools would be closed after Friday.

The shut out does not include select children, such as those whose parents work in the NHS, Boris Johnson added.

Dave MacCormick, headteacher at Holyrood Academy, said: "In short, as of Monday, March 23, and until further notice, Holyrood Academy will only be open to the children of ‘key workers’, children with Education Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) and those under the care of a Social Worker.

"We hold very little information about the job roles our parents play in this situation.

"If you have heard yesterday’s announcement you will have heard how important it is that ONLY these children remain in school.

"In order for us to identify the students that are able to stay in school for child care for key workers I ask you to send an email to keyworkers@gapps.holyroodacademy.com stating child’s name, parents name and the role of the key worker ie nurse, police, delivery driver etc. This will enable the school office number to remain free.

"We will then contact all those people who have sent an email through to us. If you are uncertain if you meet these criteria please check Government websites, BBC news website or contact the school office tomorrow (Friday) after 9.30am."

The school has also contacted families whose children usually receive Free School Meals so that provisions can be made for this while Holyrood Academy is closed.

Mr MacCormick added: "Families in our school who are supported by external agencies or with whom we have worked very closely due to a variety of vulnerabilities will be contacted by school staff or our PFSA on a regular basis throughout the period of closure and may be offered visits if it is appropriate."

The Prime Minister also announced that exams would be cancelled, including GCSEs and A Levels, although more details are yet to come out about this.

"During the period of school closure we expect all students affected to continue with their learning in order to support their education," the Holyrood headteacher added.

"Teachers will continue to set appropriate work for every lesson that would appear on their normal timetable. A copy of your child's timetable will be emailed to you.

"We strongly recommend that students are supported in replicating a school day. Setting up an area on your dining table or a desk where work is completed or ensuring there is a workstation next to a computer is essential.

"Students should have their books and equipment with them to enable focused working."

Pupils are also encouraged to follow a normal school day routine, starting at 9am, limiting any background music, and keeping phones off and away.

Mr MacCormick said: "We ask that parents remove any devices during learning hours that are not being used to support the lesson. Mobile phones should be off and away from the workstation.

"Students should be encouraged to be methodical and organised and parents can support by checking regularly that they are able to proceed. Keeping to the school day routine and reading with your child are the most important things in trying to keep learning happening."

There is also a selection of links and email addresses to help parents and pupils at holyroodacademy.com.

"If you have any questions you can contact staff members using the email addresses below and we will respond as quickly as we are able," Mr MacCormick added.

"If you would like to speak with me directly or are unsure where to direct your question please don’t hesitate to contact me at dmaccormick@educ.somerset.gov.uk.

"For updates on the school closure please check the school website after 4pm daily."