SCHOOLS in the city have seen more keyworker children coming to school than during the first lockdown, headteachers have said.

This follows a national trend in the first week of the third national lockdown, which has led to the Department for Education clarifying its keyworker guidance, advising parents and carers of children who are eligible for a school place that they should keep them at home if at all possible.

David Butler, principal at Tudor Grange Academy, said there had definitely been an increase in the number of keyworker pupils in school.

“Overall the demand for places has increased three to four times in comparison to the first lockdown,”the principal said.

“More people are required to be at work and therefore the demand for places is higher. Parents are being very supportive and only using this provision when it is required. We have an amazing community that is very understanding of the demands placed upon us all and the sacrifices each of us is required to make at this time in order to reduce the transmission of this virus.

“It’s at times like these that you appreciate what a special group of people we have in our school community.

Rachel Hughes, headteacher of Perdiswell Primary School, said the school has also seen more keyworker children this time around.

“We have got more families now that need to use us,” the head said.

“We are at about 30 per cent of the school, on most days 10 per cent more than the latter part of the first lockdown.

“We are just about managing but if it ended up being more than that it would be challenging.

“We have shared with parents that critical care workers would be the priority, and we have been very fortunate our parents have supported us on that.”

Bryony Baynes, headteacher from Kempsey Primary School, added: “We have had 128 keyworker children - about a third of our pupils in, and the number has been rising.

“That is more than the first lockdown, and is partly as a result of the fact the list of keyworker jobs has increased.”