SHROPSHIRE Council has moved to provide advice for parents and guardians of schoolchildren ahead of the planned closures from Monday onward.

The council has published the information required to help those whose children will still be attending school, or will be at home for the foreseeable future.

The information also includes what is available for vulnerable children, but warned the plans are still flexible as these new arrangements settle in.

A spokesman said: "Schools will be open for children of critical (key) workers where at least one parent/carer is a critical (key) worker.

"School provision will be available for vulnerable children including those supported by social care, those with safeguarding and welfare needs, those with child in need plans, on child protection plans, ‘looked after’ children, young carers, disabled children and those with Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs).

"Free school meals will be available for those pupils currently eligible for benefits-related free school meals – contact your school for details on arrangements at your school.

"As far as possible, transport arrangements will be available on Monday, March 23, but will be subject to change as the new arrangements settle down.

"Some schools may need to close, in which case alternative places will be found in such circumstances.

"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.

"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."

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