Dudley Council
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Coronavirus advice for parents and families

As national restrictions have eased, children and young people are able to enjoy more freedom and socialisation in their schools and colleges. The information below helps support parents and families.

Learning and parenting

We’re looking forward to welcoming all children and young people back to our schools and colleges in September 2021. With the easing of national restrictions, children and young people are now able to enjoy more freedom and socialisation in their education settings.

The benefit of education significantly outweighs the Covid health risk to children and young people, who are at very low risk of becoming seriously unwell from Covid-19. Education has been negatively impacted throughout the pandemic, it’s crucial to children’s and young people’s social and emotional development that we get their education back on track. It’s important to also remember that it’s a legal requirement to send your child to school.

Back to school

Return to school guidance

  • It is still vital that any child or young person with Covid symptoms, no matter how mild, (see symptoms and testing below) self isolates and immediately takes a PCR test. If the test result is negative they may return to education, if positive they must self isolate for 10 days. You must notify the school or college of the need to test and of the result.
  • In schools and colleges there will no longer be ‘bubbles’
  • The rules on self-isolation have changed. Close contacts of a positive case (including households) no longer need to self-isolate if they are:
    • fully vaccinated
    • are under the age of 18 and a half
    • can’t have the vaccination for medical reasons
    • or have taken part in or are currently part of an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial
    • Close contacts must however take a PCR test and then isolate if positive or if they have any symptoms.  Young children aged four and under do not need a PCR if they are a close contact, only if they have symptoms or someone in their house tests positive.
    • If you need support getting a child to school, where there is a positive or symptomatic case in the household and no support is available from family or friends, please contact your school for help.
  • Students at secondary schools and colleges must take two lateral flow tests at the start of term (most will do these on site) and they should then test twice weekly at home and log their results.
  • Staff in all educational settings will also continue to take two lateral flow tests each week and log their results.
  • Children aged 12 to 15 with specific underlying health conditions or who live with others at increased risk of getting seriously ill from Covid-19 are now eligible for the vaccine, along with anyone aged over 16.
  • Face coverings are now a personal choice however they will be required on school transport.

If there is an outbreak, or if cases rise significantly in a local area, parents may be advised that some measures need to be temporarily reintroduced to reduce the spread of the virus. Some schools or colleges may choose to keep some measures in place if they feel it is necessary to keep everyone safe

Recent PHE data suggests adult vaccinations and the rapid asymptomatic testing programme contributed to reducing the risk of infection in schools. By working together in partnership with your school or college, we can all help to reduce infections and keep our children and young people in education.

Parents are encouraged to visit gov.uk/backtoschool for information and practical guidance to help them plan for their children’s return to school.

More information

Our five family centres can signpost you to advice and support.

The Family Information Service has information about childcare provision.

To keep up-to-date with the latest schools information, sign up for our e-bulletin.

 

Symptoms and testing

Symptoms & testing

Do not send your child to school if they or a member of your household are displaying symptoms.

If your child has any one of the main symptoms of Covid-19:

  • a new, continuous cough
  • a high temperature
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste

They should immediately self-isolate for 10 days and book a test either online or by calling 119.

 

More information on self-isolation, including who needs to isolate and support during isolation.

 

Other symptoms

Does anyone in your household have other symptoms?

Some people who have tested positive for Covid-19 have displayed other symptoms. Although these are not the main Covid-19 symptoms, we would like to encourage residents to get tested as a precaution:

  • loss of appetite
  • sore throat
  • extreme tiredness
  • sneezing
  • headaches
  • joint pain or muscle ache
  • nausea
  • runny nose or congestion
  • *Diarrhoea (must be clear of symptoms for 48hrs before returning to setting)
  • **Vomiting (must be clear of symptoms for 48hrs before returning to nursery)

When booking coronavirus test online, select the below option on the COVID test booking form:

  • My local council or health protection team has asked me (or someone I live with) to get a test, even though I do not have symptoms

If you have any of these other symptoms you do not need to isolate unless you have a positive test result.

Please note:

  • If anyone in your household has any of these other symptoms (apart from diarrhoea* and vomiting**) they can carry on attending school or work if they are well enough to do so and are not already self-isolating.
  • If someone has tested positive for Covid-19 in the last 90 days, they should not be retested during this period unless they are displaying any of the three main Covid-19 symptoms. This is because it is possible for tests to remain positive for some time after infection.
  • If the test result is positive, the infected person must isolate for 10 full days from the first day of symptoms with day one being the day after symptoms started.
  • If the test result is negative but the individual then develops a high temperature, new, continuous cough or loss or change of taste or sense of smell they must self-isolate and you must arrange another test for them.

Symptom-free testing

Rapid symptom-free Covid-19 tests are also referred to as lateral flow tests (LFT).

Regular, twice weekly rapid testing for people without symptoms is a vital part of the fight against Covid-19.

One in three people don’t have any Covid-19 symptoms, so don’t know they have the virus. Rapid symptom free testing finds hidden cases, ensuring you don’t pass it onto family members, friends or workmates, stopping the spread of the virus.

The symptom free test is a painless, quick and easy throat and nose swab and results are available within an hour.

How to access symptom-free testing.

Educational Psychology Community Support Line

This service has been opened up to parents as well as schools during the pandemic and offers support on
• Behaviour
• Learning
• Worries and anxiety
• Motivation

Call 01384 814381 or email epsupport@dudley.gov.uk Mon – Friday 9am – 5pm

Support for parents and carers

Parenting Service

The Parenting Team organises and co-ordinates a range of parenting programmes, to offer support to families in the Dudley borough.

Family Centres

Our five family centres can also offer advice and support on all things family.

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

Learning Support Service

Do you have a child with special educational needs?

Dudley’s Learning Support Service can offer advice and support to parents.

We can offer parents and carers valuable information and advice on what could work best for your child.


Our expertise can help you identify the right apps, games & support to help your child reach their potential

Learning Support Service - support line

Dudley's SEND Local offer

The local offer supports children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities to live independent and fulfilling lives. 

 

Family Fund

The Family Fund can provide support with online learning and other support for children with disabilities. 

Further support