CORONAVIRUS: FAQs (updated 20th March)

CORONAVIRUS: FAQs (updated 20th March)

UPDATED: 20th March 2020



  1. What is the school doing about Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Current Government advice is that schools should stay open to children of key workers and vulnerable children. The school will respond to guidance, advice and instruction from the Government and Coventry City Council.

Parents whose work is critical to the COVID-19 response include those who work in health and social care and in other key sectors outlined below. Many parents working in these sectors may be able to ensure their child is kept at home, and every child who can be safely cared for at home should be.

Please, therefore, follow these key principles:

  1. If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be.
  2. If a child needs specialist support, is vulnerable or has a parent who is a critical worker, then educational provision will be available for them.
  3. Parents should not rely for childcare upon those who are advised to be in the stringent social-distancing category such as grandparents, friends, or family members with underlying conditions.
  4. Parents should also do everything they can to ensure children are not mixing socially in a way which can continue to spread the virus. They should observe the same social-distancing principles as adults.

Currently, key workers are defined as: 

Health and social care

This includes but is not limited to doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers, care workers, and other frontline health and social care staff including volunteers; the support and specialist staff required to maintain the UK’s health and social care sector; those working as part of the health and social care supply chain, including producers and distributers of medicines and medical and personal protective equipment.

Education and childcare

This includes nursery and teaching staff, social workers and those specialist education professionals who must remain active during the COVID-19 response to deliver this approach.

Key public services

This includes those essential to the running of the justice system, religious staff, charities and workers delivering key frontline services, those responsible for the management of the deceased, and journalists and broadcasters who are providing public service broadcasting.

Local and national government

This only includes those administrative occupations essential to the effective delivery of the COVID-19 response or delivering essential public services such as the payment of benefits, including in government agencies and arms length bodies.

Food and other necessary goods

This includes those involved in food production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery as well as those essential to the provision of other key goods (for example hygienic and veterinary medicines).

Public safety and national security

This includes Police and support staff, Ministry of Defence civilians, contractor and armed forces personnel (those critical to the delivery of key defence and national security outputs and essential to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic), fire and rescue service employees (including support staff), National Crime Agency staff, those maintaining border security, prison and probation staff and other national security roles, including those overseas.


This includes those who will keep the air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating during the COVID-19 response, including those working on transport systems through which supply chains pass.

Utilities, communication and financial services

This includes staff needed for essential financial services provision (including but not limited to workers in banks, building societies and financial market infrastructure), the oil, gas, electricity and water sectors (including sewerage), information technology and data infrastructure sector and primary industry supplies to continue during the COVID-19 response, as well as key staff working in the civil nuclear, chemicals, telecommunications (including but not limited to network operations, field engineering, call centre staff, IT and data infrastructure, 999 and 111 critical services), postal services and delivery, payments providers and waste disposal sectors.

At this time, vulnerable children are defined:

Children who are supported by social care, those with safeguarding and welfare needs, including child in need plans, on child protection plans, ‘looked after’ children, young carers, disabled children and those with education, health and care (EHC) those that have a Social Worker and those that have an Education, Health Care Plan (EHCP). An EHCP is a legal document that describes a child’s Special Educational Needs and the support they require. Children who do not fall in to these groups should remain at home with appropriate care.

Schools have been asked to stay open during the Easter holidays for the children of key workers and vulnerable students (as defined above).

It is possible, that at some point, the Government will change its advice. The school is working with Coventry City Council to plan for a variety of possibilities. Updates and changes will be shared as quickly as possible with our parents, carers and students.

The school will provide students in years 7, 8, 9, 10 and 12 with a study guide outlining suggested areas of learning that can be undertaken during a school closure.

  1. What happens if I am a Key Worker and my child or someone in my household displays symptoms of coronavirus?

Parents and carers should continue to follow Government guidelines around social-distancing and self-isolation in the event you or a family member in the same household display symptoms. Please refer to Government guidance:

  1. My child has an EHCP or is classified as vulnerable (see definition above) and they or someone in their household displays symptoms of coronavirus?

Parents and carers should continue to follow Government guidelines around social-distancing and self-isolation in the event you or a family member in the same household display symptoms. Please refer to Government guidance:

  1. How can I communicate with school?

The school will post updates on its website ( This will be our main method to share information so we ask that students, parents and carers use this as a means to access information. When possible we will also use the schools Twitter to keep parents and staff informed.

  1. What can my child do in the time the school is closed?

The school has provided students with a study guide outlining suggested areas of learning that can be undertaken during a school closure.

We also suggest students can use online resources, for example, MathsWatch and BBC Bitesize.

Year 10 students have been provided with detailed study packs for all subjects. This includes revision activities, practice exam questions and links to subject specific resources. The school has also set up a Frog page for ‘Year 10 lessons’. This will also have online access to all of the resources in the work packs and additional resources.

Year 12 students will be emailed work to complete by their subject teachers during their lesson time, as well as additional work to complete during their study periods. This work will need to be completed in the time indicated by their subject teachers and emailed back to their subject teachers to mark and give feedback. In addition, we recommend that students watch subject relevant documentaries and films to extend their learning and continue to develop their proactive independent learning skills.

  1. How do I access the resources at home?

Students can access Frog using the link found on the Barr’s Hill School website (  Students should login using their school email and password.

  1. My child is unable to access school systems/Frog. What can I do?

Your child can email the school’s IT helpdesk ( who will resolve issues if possible.

  1. Can I contact my teacher to ask questions about my learning?

For students in years 7,8, 9 and 10 the study guides provided have email contacts for classroom teachers. Students and their parents and carers can email if you have any questions about the work that has been set. Teachers will be available during normal school working hours and will respond directly to the student request.

  1. My child is doing a BTEC. How do I submit coursework?

Students in years 10 and year 12: BTEC classes have been set classwork or coursework to complete whilst the school is closed. These students will not need to send any work to their teacher directly during closure. They will need to bring this work back to their BTEC teacher when the school reopens.

  1. I’m in year 7, 8, 9, 10 or 12 and I’ve run out of work. What can I do?

If school closure is for an extended period, the school will provide additional advice on the website.

Year 12 students should email their subject teacher who will send additional work for them to complete. Teachers will be available during normal school working hours and will respond directly to the student request.

  1. My child was due to take public examinations, what will happen now?

The Government has announced that national assessments and examinations (Year 6 SATs, GCSEs and A-Levels) will not take place this academic year. They have advised that they will work with Ofqual (The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulations) to ensure children get the qualifications they need. We will advise more on this when we know more from the Government. We are expecting more information from the Government on Friday 20th March on this matter.

  1. When will the school reopen and how will I know?

The school is following Government guidelines around school closures and will, therefore, continue to monitor and provide updates via the Barr’s Hill School website. The school will publish updates on the website and text/email parents when the decision to reopen is made.

  1. I wish to accept/decline my child’s place in year 7 for starting secondary school in September 2020. Who do I contact?

It is critical that ALL places be confirmed via email to Mr Orchard so that their place can be secured and not allocated to another student on the school’s (long!) waiting list.

Parents and carers can also contact Coventry City Council Admissions Department (email or telephone 024 7697 5445) to accept or decline a place.

  1. I’m a student or adult and I have a safeguarding concern. What do I do?

If you are concerned about any safeguarding issues, then please email the safeguarding team on:

If it is an emergency where someone is at immediate risk of significant harm you should contact the relevant agency, such as the Police on 999. If it is not an emergency but you have significant concerns, you can contact the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub for advice on 024 76788 555 or there is further information for parents at  We will endeavour to provide further information and advice on how we can ensure the right support is put in place. Please see the school website where there is further information and advice around safeguarding. 

  1. My child is eligibile for free school meals. What happens when the school is closed?

The school is awaiting Government advice about how FSMs will be issued to students. We will update you as soon as we are able.

  1. My child was due to attend a school trip or event. Will I be refunded for this?

Where refunds are possible, the school’s Finance team will need to undergo a lengthy process to refund these costs to parents and carers. We ask that parents and carers recognise that this may take some time due to staff shortages.

  1. Where can I receive mental health support?

This is a challenging time in many respects, we will all need to support each other and work together to ensure no one feels isolated or without support. There are many simple practical things we can do to look after our own mental health and also to support others, whether our own family or the wider community. Please use reputable websites such as those below and don’t rely solely on social media for information and advice. There are also several useful apps about staying healthy in body and mind, which has never been more important. These are: (for young people)

  1. Additional Support

If you are concerned about anyone in particular need, there are several organisations who are trying to support: – For an emergency supply of food. or 03444 111 444. – to find your local neighbourhood hub who can advise on various support needs.