DETAILS have been issued online by Dorset Council in relation to the closure of schools from the end of the day on Friday due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Prime minister Boris Johnson announced on Wednesday that all schools in UK will be closed until further notice after gates close on March 20.

Schools will close, except for those looking after the children of key workers and vulnerable children. School provision will be given to children of key workers, who have a social worker or who have an EHC plan.

Dorset Council, which covers East Dorset towns of Ferndown, Wimborne and Verwood, North Dorset, Purbeck and West Dorset, said they are waiting for an announcement from the cabinet office today (Thursday) as to exactly who is classed as a key worker.

A statement from the local authority said: "Our priority is to keep Dorset's most vulnerable children safe and allow them and the children of key workers to still be able to attend school.

"Colleagues in children's services are working closely with headteachers and have an agreement in place for all schools to open on Monday, though some small primary schools may not be able to. At this point we don't know how many children will turn up."

It added: "We intend to support teachers to keep schools open. We are increasing the number of staff supporting schools. This includes council employees who may be able to stand down from existing roles to provide community coordination and support to schools ."

Free school meals

The council is working to make sure that it is able to provide a meal for all children who would normally receive a free school meal. Details will be provided as soon as possible.

School transport

Work is being done with school transport colleagues and details will be in place once the local authority has a better understand of the likely demand.

Home education

Materials for home education that have been approved by the council's educational psychology service can be found here.