COUNTY bosses say Dorset schools are working hard to stay open and provide additional free school meal vouchers over Easter.

Dorset Council has been working with schools to make sure vulnerable children and those whose parents are critical workers continue to be cared for over the school holiday.

The Department for Education (DfE) has asked schools across to stay open over Easter to help make sure key workers could still do their jobs. Schools are working together in local clusters to make sure children who need to go to school can. This may mean bringing children from several local schools together into one school depending on the number of children and the amount of staff cover.

Cllr Andrew Parry, portfolio holder for children, education and early help, said: “Schools and childcare settings across Dorset have been brilliant and have really pulled together to support children and families in their local communities.

"They are working hard to provide childcare over the Easter holidays and we are very grateful.

"I know many school staff have children and loved ones to care for themselves, but are still committed to supporting their pupils during this time, so I’d like to thank them for everything they are doing.”

Cllr Parry also said the council is working to make sure families whose children receive free school meals continue to do so over Easter.

"We know this is a difficult time for many families so want to make sure we continue to support them during the holidays too.," he said. "I’d like to thank our schools for agreeing to help with this and we will make sure they are reimbursed for this additional support.”

Visit dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/coronavirus for information.