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.
Our five family centres can signpost you to advice and support.
The Family Information Service has information about childcare provision.
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