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Coronavirus advice for parents and families

Coronavirus may feel daunting, especially for families and children. Everyone is having to spend more time at home to help slow the spread of the virus.

Keeping up with school and working from home, exercising, limiting screen time, keeping occupied and motivated are all big challenges.

As part of the Government's roadmap, face to face learning will resume on Monday 8 March. Colleges, primary and secondary schools will re-open at this time. To find out more read the Government's guidance for parents and carers. 

Until then settings will only be open for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers. All other children are learning remotely. Early Years settings like nurseries continue to remain open. Please make sure you are familiar with your school's plans for re-opening.

Higher Education provision will remain online unless otherwise indicated.

Together we can play our part, and protect Dudley borough.

Read more in our school section below.

Learning and parenting


Return to school guidance

Each school will have it’s own guidance for parents, carers and children to follow for safely returning to school from 8 March. Please check your school's website to make sure you’re up to date with your school’s latest advice and guidance, and importantly make sure you are social distancing when dropping off and picking up children from school.

To  help stop the spread of the virus, students returning to secondary school or college will be asked to:

  • Wear a face covering when moving around the premises, outside of classrooms, such as in corridors and communal areas where social distancing cannot easily be maintained. It is also now recommended that face coverings should be worn in classrooms or during activities unless social distancing can be maintained. Face coverings do not need to be worn by pupils when outdoors. Some exemptions will apply
  • Undertake rapid Covid-19 tests (Lateral Flow) twice a week. Schools and colleges will provide parents/carers and students with full details of this.

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.

Parents and carers should continue to follow the guidance in the PDF below while their children are still in a school setting.

To find out more read the Government's guidance for parents and carers. 


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 their household) and book a test either online or by calling 119.

Guidance on isolating should be followed until a test is taken and a result is received.


Other symptoms

Does anyone in your household have other symptoms?

Some Dudley borough residents 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 due to being a contact of a positive case.
  • 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 household must isolate for 10 full days from the first day of symptoms with day one being the day after symptoms started.
  • If the individual is currently self-isolating as a contact and the test result is negative, they must still continue their 10 day isolation period.
  • 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 (and your household) 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 and is a key part of the government’s roadmap for recovery.

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.

Please note anyone who has previously received a positive COVID-19 PCR test result should not be re-tested within 90 days of that test, either by PCR or lateral flow test unless they develop any new symptoms of COVID-19 as this may still show a positive result due to antibodies.

Accessing symptom-free tests

Parents and carers and anyone else living with a school age child or young person are among the priority groups being given access to free home lateral flow testing kits to test themselves.

Information on how to access these can be found on the government website.

All are strongly encouraged to have a lateral flow test at a local testing site prior to starting home testing, to know how a test is undertaken. 

Twice weekly testing will help detect hidden asymptomatic cases and help keep pupils and staff safer in school.

Anyone unable to do home testing can go to one of the Dudley lateral flow testing centres. These are at Dudley Leisure Centre, Saltwells Education Centre, with pop-up sessions at Holy Trinity Church Community Centre in Wordsley, Lifecentral Church in Halesowen, St Andrews Church in Sedgley, St James Church in Wollaston and the Salvation Army Church in Lye.

There is also testing at more than 30 pharmacies across the borough.

Find out more on where you can get a lateral flow test and book visit.


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 Mon – Friday 9am – 5pm

Parenting advice

Parenting Service

The Parenting Team is offering virtual support to families in the Dudley borough during this crisis. Find out more information. 

Family Centres

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

30 hours childcare update

The government has introduced some temporary measures that may affect you if you’re applying for, or already accessing tax-free childcare or 30 hours free childcare. More information on extra time for threes and fours 

Learning at home resources

We have put together a learning resources web page which includes information on online and offline learning, useful websites, arts crafts and discovery activities, that you can do with your child at home.

The government has issued a list of online resources for home education and also guidance on supporting your children’s education during coronavirus.

The BBC have confirmed they will also be televising lessons on BBC2, CBBC and online.

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 during the Coronavirus pandemic.

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

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. Visit their webpages


Family Fund

The Family Fund can provide support with on line learning and other support.

Adult Community Learning online

Fancy learning a new skill whilst at home?

Dudley’s Adult Community Learning Service is offering many classes through online learning. Please contact Glen on 01384 816471 for more information or to enrol on a course.

We are also offering an employability support package for residents and
businesses and one -to-one support for those seeking employment or volunteering.

Awarding of GCSE, AS and A level

Awarding of GCSE, AS and A level - It will not be possible for all exams in the summer to go ahead as planned. The government will put in place alternative arrangements that will allow students to progress fairly. Public exams and vocational assessments scheduled to take place in January will go ahead as planned.

Staying happy and things to do

Parents and families are having to live work and play together more than ever before. Our sense of well-being is being tested during this pandemic. In this section we have listed information and services where you can get support on things to do and how you can stay informed.

Let's-get healthy resources

With everyone forced to increase the amount of time they stay at home while the coronavirus takes it course, the public health team has uploaded pages on its Let's Get website to support and nourish the bodies and minds of children, young people and their carers.

Pages for parents of primary school-aged children, 11 – 16 year-olds and 16 – 19-year olds have been set up at in the ‘starting well’ section.

Readers can then select the right age section.
Under the banner of ‘information and ideas to support children while staying home’ age appropriate topics include:

  • Childcare for key workers
  • Things to do while home
  • Talking to children/young people about coronavirus
  • Staying healthy (physically and mentally)
  • Staying safe
  • Bereavement
  • Places to find support

#stayalert and Dudley Council E-Bulletin

It’s not always been easy to keep our spirits up over the past couple of months but we’ve been encouraging people to keep busy and share how they’re passing the time with us by posting on our social media channels.

  • Twitter:@Dudleymbc
  • Facebook Dudley Borough

Subscribers to our ebulletin have also been signposted to a whole host of home based entertainment for families.

Discover Dudley on-line

Dudley’s tourist attractions are currently closed but there’s a wealth of information on their websites. Learn a new skill, delve into the borough’s history or if you need something to keep the kids entertained and educated, here’s a few ideas

  • Dudley Council: find out about the Dudley Collection & heritage, local fossils, glass & geology, and the Castle Dig finds
  • Black Country Museum: learn about the area’s history and explore its 80,000 item collection
  • Canal & River Trust: take virtual trips along our canals, enjoy photographs and take part in quizzes
  • Dudley Canal & River Boat Trust: find out about canal geology, local history and micro ecology
  • Dudley Zoo & Castle: download animal and castle themed activities and enjoy a wordsearch
  • Lace Guild: learn how to make simple lace creations
  • Black Country Geopark: find out about the Black Country’s geology and our bid as an aspiring global geopark

Visit our Discover Dudley website for more details.

Dudley's Cultural and Educational Partnership (DCEP)

The DCEP website has online activities and information on a number of projects including the Dudley Fountain, Market Place in Dudley.

Dudley's Museums

You can also visit the Dudley Museum website where you will find activities for the family to take part in.

Discover libraries on-line

You can still access a world of books, music and other resources from the comfort of your own home.

Library members can access the online catalogue of e-books, renew their books, access magazines and journals as well as listen to all of the latest music.

More information is available on our Libraries' pages.


Things going on in your community and Family Information Service

Things going on in your community
Dudley Council’s Community Information Directory is an online resource that provides information about local groups, support services, activities, and health and care services for individuals and families. Explore your Dudley today, visit:  Dudley Council’s Community Information Directory

Dudley's Family Information Service  has also compiled a list of resources, which are worth checking out. It includes ideas to keep children fit and active!

Ever thought about fostering?

Having a lot of time at home recently has meant many people are natuarally taking stock of their lives and careers, many have been furloughed, some have lost their jobs, others are thinking about changing their career completely.

Despite these unprecedented times we still need new foster carers. We know that fostering isn’t easy but the difference you can make to a child’s life is profound.

The Fostering Service is encouraging people to take the first steps in to fostering and transforming a child’s life by finding out more on their website.
Find out more by visiting our Fostering website

Sycamore Adventure

Play leaders at Sycamore Adventure are offering exciting ideas, including games and fun play, on how to keep children busy during the coronavirus lockdown.

Content is being shared on the centre’s Facebook page @adventureplay as part of the #DudleyStaysHome campaign, which encourages people across the borough to share ideas and activities on social media.

Dudley Performing Arts

Dudley Performing Arts (DPA) is supporting more than 500 youngsters aged six to 18 to continue with their weekly music sessions through a virtual portal as #DudleyStaysHome due to the coronavirus crisis.

Schools across the borough are working with DPA to keep children and young people engaged with music throughout the crisis. Options include one to one lessons for existing students and a range of purpose made videos that anyone can access.

At present, the online lessons are only for existing pupils, but anyone can view and use free videos on the group’s YouTube channel ‘Dudley Performing Arts’, which has received more than 9,000 views this month.

People can find out more about DPA at @arts_dudley on Twitter, @dudleyperfomingarts on Facebook or at their website

Further support