How the Coronavirus is affecting Schools

Following the government’s recent announcement, all school children should stay at home to limit the spread of the virus.

Schools and other educational settings, including childminders, have been asked to remain open only for children with a social worker, children with an EHCP and the children of key workers who are required to deliver the COVID-19 response.

We are sorry for the inconvenience this has caused, but hope you will understand that health & wellbeing is our priority.

We ask that you also follow all advice from NHS and GOV.UK to protect yourself and others.

Check back regularly for updates to our frequently asked questions and service updates.

Service updates, changes or closures

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All Schools in Harrow are closed until further notice.

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Parents will not be penalised for student non attendance due to the Coronavirus.

Tick icon3 If you are a key worker, we can arrange an alternative school or nursery for your child or children to attend if their current school or nursery has closed.

Frequently asked questions

Below are some frequently asked questions that you have been asking. We will aim to update these regularly.

What are the Government's instructions for closing all schools in the borough from March 20th 2020?

All schools closed on 20th March to the majority of pupils and ‘until further notice’. All children should be at home unless they are vulnerable and it is not safe for them to be at home of they are the children of critical workers who can find no alternative.

Schools are, therefore, making provision for the children of key workers, where parents have no other option.

Key workers are health service staff, the police and other workers in services that are needed to deliver the national response.

More information about key workers is available on the Government website. Schools are also making provision where possible for the most vulnerable children.

This includes those who have a social worker and those with education, health and care plans (EHCP), so they are keeping some staff on site. Nurseries, childminders and private schools have been asked to do the same.

I am a key worker, what do I do if the nursery/school my child is attending is closed?

All schools will remain open for key workers and vulnerable children. However, if they do have to close on the advice of Public Health England or for any other reason, the school will try and provide an alternative solution and will work with the Local Authority to ensure that families are supported and access to provision is maintained.  

To support families we have provided an online form, which key workers and parents of vulnerable children can complete to apply for alternative schooling for their child or children.

What is happening about my child’s free school meals?

Harrow Council is working to ensure that no one in the borough goes hungry as a result of the Coronavirus, this includes children entitled to free school meals.

The Government has said children eligible for free school meals will be offered meals or vouchers as an alternative.

Schools have already contacted families who are entitled to a free school meal explaining how you can access your meal for your child.

If you have not be contacted and you think you are entitled to a free school meal you can email us.

What is happening regarding exams?

Exams will not happen as planned in May and June of 2020 and the Government announced on March 20th 2020 further details of how students will be able to gain the qualifications they need.

I home school my child who is due to take examinations this year that have now been cancelled. How will my child be awarded a grade?

The Government will work closely with the independent regulator of qualifications, Ofqual, to explore options for awarding grades for private candidates, including home educated students.

We will publish more advice as it becomes available.

What will happen with my school application and waiting list position?

We are continuing to process secondary transfer and reception applications. The timetable and information on when secondary transfer offers will be made is available on our website.

Waiting list positions will continue to be available through the MyHarrow Account.

Reception application offers will be made on April 16th 2020 and parents will be notified of the outcome on the evening of April 16th 2020 for those who applied online, by post or via a paper application.

We are currently not processing in-year applications until schools reopen.

What about School attendance and Education Penalty Notices?

We are committed to ensuring parents are not penalised due to the Coronavirus crisis and as such:

  • there will be no fines or prosecutions for non attendance due to the Coronavirus
  • there will be no new fines or prosecutions from March 16th 2020 until further notice
  • any fines or cases already issued prior to the Coronavirus crisis remain valid.