Following my meeting with the Chair of the Bar and his advisors last Monday, I have liaised with the Chair further and he has agreed that he will forward the note that I drafted, suggesting that there might be occasions on which barristers’ clerks would be considered as critical workers, to the CEO of HMCTS.
You will all be aware that the PM’s roadmap out of lockdown as announced on Monday stated that all pupils would return to school on Monday 8th March. With that in mind, the Chair thinks that we may well be met with the return to school as a reason why any extension of the present rules is unnecessary or unlikely to make any difference.
The Chair of the BC agreed with me that despite the imminent return to school, it may be that making the point now will put us ahead in the event of any future return to lock down (I really hope that it on’t be needed, but it must be a possibility).
On that understanding, the Chair of the BC has agreed to pass my note onto the Chief Exec of HMCTS “acknowledging that the reopening of schools will alleviate the problem but asking him to note the concern in case the Government’s plans stall or measures have to be reimposed over the winter”.
So, we move forward, although I fear that it will not be of much help in circumstances where home schooling is, thank heavens, nearly at an end. For that I apologise as I would have liked to have done more for those who needed our help.
I will of course let you know what reply we get from the Chief Exec of HMCTS (but I am not holding my breath)