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Who can still attend school during the lockdown in England?

Thursday 7th January 2021


As part of the national lockdown in England, primary and secondary schools and colleges have closed for the majority of pupils, while early years settings remain open. All pupils not in school will receive remote learning.

But education settings will remain open for certain groups of children and young people. This includes children with education, health and care (EHC) plans, children who are supported by social care, those with safeguarding and welfare needs, including child in need plans and on child protection plans, and 'looked after' children.

The children of critical workers are permitted to attend school - see the government website for an explanation of who counts as a critical worker.

And in a change from the lockdown in March 2020, children and young people considered "vulnerable" and permitted to attend school now includes those at risk of becoming NEET (not in education, employment or training) and those who will find remote learning particularly difficult, for example due to a lack of equipment or "quiet place to study").

The Secretary of State for Education has also issued a notice disapplying non-attendance of school during the pandemic. This means there is no penalty for your child not attending school.

If you have concerns or questions about your child, speak to your child's school. Further guidance from the government will be available soon.

Visit our Covid-19 pages for the latest information about the national lockdown.