School updates and support for families

Latest information on school closures, accessing school meals, and support for families and children with EHCPs.

School closures and places

Schools across Croydon are closed to most children until further notice.

If your child has benefit-related free school meals, find out more about how your family can continue to receive food or vouchers.

Schools are only open for children who meet government criteria, including children whose parents are key workers and children who are classed as particularly vulnerable.

Vulnerable children include: 

  • children who are supported by social care
  • children with safeguarding and welfare needs
  • ‘looked after’ children
  • young carers
  • disabled children
  • children with education, health and care (EHC) plans

More information for parents and carers is on GOV.UK.

Deciding whether to send your child to school

Our priority is to prevent the spread of coronavirus and protect everyone’s health. We will only achieve this by keeping the numbers of children in schools low. 

Children of key workers

A key worker is someone whose job is essential for public wellbeing, or for the COVID-19 response. The full list of who is a key worker is on GOV.UK

If you are a key worker, but your child could be cared for by another adult in your household, please consider whether you need to send them to school. We need all the current school places for families that have no alternative.

It’s up to schools to decide who is a key worker based on the government guidance. You can give evidence that you are a key worker to your schools, but it is up to the school whether to let children attend.

Children with education, health and care plans (EHCPs)

Schools and providers will aim to meet current EHCPs, but there may be disruption at times.

If your child’s EHCP is not being met, please speak to your school and your EHCP coordinator about your child’s EHCP and any alternative provision that may be available.

If your child receives free school meals (FSM)

Schools are working hard to support families of FSM pupils. They may continue to provide meals for collection or delivery or organise food hampers to be distributed to families. 

Where these options are not possible, the school may choose to issue supermarket vouchers directly to families, as part of the new national scheme.

National Free School Meal Voucher scheme

Under the National Free School Meal Voucher scheme, schools can purchase supermarket vouchers and give them to families whose children would normally get benefit-related free school meals. These vouchers are worth £15 per child. They can also be issued over the Easter period.

If you are eligible for benefit-related free school meals and have not been receiving food or vouchers, please contact your school directly to discuss further.

Universal Infants Free School Meal children

The national voucher scheme is only for benefit-related FSM pupils and not for those other children in reception, year 1 or year 2 who usually receive a free meal during term time. Your school may be able to offer additional support and therefore should be the first point of contact.

Getting further help for your family

If your child is not registered for FSM but you believe they might be eligible, please register online or call 020 8407 1338 to discuss or register.

You can find more ways to get support for your family here.

School admissions

The School Admissions Team is running a good service and will continue to process all applications. School closures will not affect school admissions for September 2020.

It may take us longer than usual to respond to your application. Please be assured that we will reply to all applications, you do not need to contact us again after submitting. Thank you for your patience.

Find out more about school admissions.

Further information

Download our frequently asked questions around school closures – updated 6 April.