THE Isle of Wight Council is appealing to parents and carers to consider their childcare arrangements during the national lockdown.

Islanders are being asked to consider carefully if they should be sending their children to school, and whether it is possible for them to stay at home.

During the first week of lockdown, Island schools reported attendance rates of between 15 and 35 per cent.

Cllr Paul Brading, cabinet member for children's services, education and skills, said everyone must remember the purpose of the latest restrictions ­— to stay at home to minimise the transmission of the virus.

He said: “All Island schools are open for face-to-face teaching for vulnerable children and children of critical workers.

"They have carried out risk assessments and implemented measures to create a Covid-19 safe learning environment.

"However, we all need to remember that the purpose of the national lockdown and being required to stay at home is to minimise the transmission of coronavirus.

“I do appreciate the challenge of being able to work and the need to look after children. On behalf of our schools, I am appealing to parents to consider their childcare arrangements during lockdown.

"For example, if one parent is a critical worker, could their partner work from home or stay at home to support their children to remain at home as well, and access remote learning from their school?

“Clearly, we do want to make sure all vulnerable children are in school during this time but, in terms of other children whose parents are critical workers, we are keen that a balance is struck between enabling those parents to get to work and keeping the numbers of children in schools to a minimum.

"By doing so, not only will we be helping to reduce the spread of infection but we will also avoid putting additional pressure on the NHS.”

Critical workers at this time, are defined by the government as those whose work is critical to the coronavirus and EU transition response.

Children with at least one parent or carer who is a critical worker can go to school or college if required.

More detail is available at

Under the current national lockdown restrictions, childcare providers and early years education settings are open to all pre-school age children.

More guidance for parents and carers about schools and childcare can also be found at