Defendants in court are classed as key workers so children can continue going school, say ministers


Defendants in court are classed as key workers so their children can continue going to school, ministers confirm

  • Defendants ‘count as key workers’, wrote justice minister Chris Philip on Monday
  • He said jurors, witnesses and lawyers are also entitled to send children to school
  • Measures in March did not specify defendants could apply for key worker status
  • List was updated earlier this week after PM announced England’s third lockdown

Defendants are classed as key workers and can carry on sending their children to school while they’re in the dock, ministers have confirmed.

Anyone facing trial can apply to their children’s school for a place – which will help to clear the backlog of cases in criminal courts.

Asked whether defendants could apply, justice minister Chris Philp wrote on Twitter: ‘They count as key workers so are eligible to be looked after by schools.’

Justice minister Chris Philp, pictured above. Asked whether defendants could apply, he wrote on Twitter: ‘They count as key workers so are eligible to be looked after by schools’ (file photo)

The tweet to Mr Philp's and his response. Measures in place during the first lockdown last March did not specify that defendants could apply for key worker status

The tweet to Mr Philp’s and his response. Measures in place during the first lockdown last March did not specify that defendants could apply for key worker status

Jurors, witnesses and lawyers who are in court are also entitled to send their children to school, he added.

Measures in place during the first lockdown last March did not specify that defendants could apply for key worker status.

It is understood they are now classed as ‘those essential to the running of the justice system’ in Department for Education and Cabinet Office guidelines.

The list was updated earlier this week after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the third national lockdown for England. 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson pictured speaking during a news conference from 10 Downing Street on Tuesday in response to the ongoing situation with the coronavirus pandemic

Prime Minister Boris Johnson pictured speaking during a news conference from 10 Downing Street on Tuesday in response to the ongoing situation with the coronavirus pandemic

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