Keeping safe at school and educational settings
- Measures in place
- What we are doing to provide support
- Safe and active travel to school and educational settings
- If anyone in your family has COVID-19 symptoms
- If your child displays Covid-19 symptoms whilst in school or an educational setting
- Covid-19 resources for schools and educational settings
- Returning to school
- Concerns and answers to your questions
Measures in place
Practical measures are in place in our schools and educational settings to make sure we are all helping to reduce the spread of Covid-19, including:
- all schools and educational settings have risk assessments in place and update these regularly
- each school and educational setting will have decided how to group children – for small schools this might be a class group, whilst for larger primary and secondary schools this could be a year group (schools will make sure that contact between groups is reduced and they will follow the latest public health guidance for arranging classrooms and keeping safe distancing between pupils and members of staff as much as possible)
- thorough hand and respiratory hygiene will be observed – such as regular hand washing, sneezing into a tissue and binning it and making sure children and staff who do feel ill with any of the recognised symptoms of Covid-19 know that they are required to stay at home and get tested
- as far as the physical environment goes, every school and educational setting is different (some schools have put in place one-way systems, with clear markings on floors and instructions about how your child should move through school, including at break and lunch times and while maximising the use of outdoor spaces for learning and play)
- a thorough local outbreak management plan in place for South Gloucestershire (we are in regular contact with school leaders and educational settings to ensure they are fully supported should any cases be confirmed)
- arrangements for arriving and going home (your school or educational setting should contact you directly)
What we are doing to provide support
We are calling the safe return to school and educational settings #southglosconnect. It is based on the understanding that anxious children will need more support to help them settle back in and learn effectively.
Our schools and educational settings will be using a range of resources to explore children’s social and emotional needs, helping them to reconnect with learning and each other. This includes resources for children with complex and special educational needs and disabilities.
Children and young people will benefit from targeted support, specifically those who have been through traumatic lockdown experiences such as loss. There are also resources that will meet the needs of children who may have thrived in lockdown, so that they have the opportunity to continue to flourish.
We are supporting teachers, teaching assistants and others, who are there to care for and teach your children, build relationships, and help bring more joy back into children’s daily lives.
All our schools have access to the Thrive App, an NHS approved approach to supporting all school staff’s health and wellbeing.
Safe and active travel to school and educational settings
To help you plan your children’s journey to and from school or educational setting, we are promoting safe and active travel advice.
Walk, cycle or scoot if you can. Where this isn’t possible, plan ahead to use public transport or drive to get to your school or educational setting. Further guidance is available below under ‘Planning your school or educational setting journeys’.
We have two more schools joining Frampton Cotterell Primary school on the national School Streets scheme, which aims to provide a healthier and safer environment for all by encouraging active travel to school. School Streets are being launched for King’s Oak Academy, on Brook Road in Kingswood from Wednesday 2 September and Abbotswood Primary School, on Kelston Close in Yate from Thursday 3 September.
We continue to share the government’s key messages about how pupils should travel and how to travel safely on school transport and public transport.
Planning your journey
On your journey:
- walk, cycle or scoot if you can
- plan your journey to school or educational setting – if you aren’t able to walk, cycle or scoot, use public transport or drive to get to your school, college or educational setting
If you are travelling by public transport:
- allow more time
- keep 2m apart from people not in your social bubble where possible while waiting and wear a face covering if you are aged over 11, unless you are exempt
- use contactless payment if you can
- be patient and follow instructions from transport staff
- wash or sanitise your hands as frequently as possible
- avoid facing other passengers if you can
- stay safe and look out for bus full signs – where you see one the bus will only stop when people want to get off
- If you are travelling by bus and it is full but they do stop, they will normally only be able to let one passenger on for each one that gets off
- be prepared to wait and please help others by prioritising those who need to travel more urgently than you
For the latest advice on car sharing read the guidance on the GOV.UK website: safer travel guidance for passengers.
For up-to-the-minute travel information and help planning your journey visit www.travelwest.info
If you are receiving school or college travel assistance from the council and you have any issues or concerns about your current travel arrangements for your child, email our Integrated Transport team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If anyone in your family has COVID-19 symptoms
Remember that if anyone in your family has any of the Covid-19 symptoms you need to book a test and the whole household must self-isolate. The GOV.UK website has the latest information on symptoms and self-isolation, you can read the guidance for people with confirmed or possible coronavirus (COVID-19).
If your child displays Covid-19 symptoms whilst in school or an educational setting
If your child were to develop any symptoms whilst in school or an educational setting , they will be taken to a safe room and will be supervised until their parent and carer can collect them. On collection, they will be advised to get their child and young person tested and they will be able to do this online. At all times, the responsibility for testing rests with the parent and carer.
Covid-19 resources for schools and educational settings
Messages for your staff
Materials for you to display around school
Materials and messages to share with parents and carers
Letter templates based on the official Public Health England templates
These templates are to help in the event of single confirmed cases at your school:
Letter template to parents of close contacts of a single confirmed case of Covid-19 at school (Microsoft Word format)
FAQ template for you to adapt to accompany the letters (Microsoft Word format)
Returning to school
If your child goes to school in South Gloucestershire, watch our short video message which we produced when children returned to school back in September.
We know from talking with our schools, parents and carers, that some of you may still be feeling anxious.
We are continuing to promote the government’s advice and our local messages to help reassure parents and carers that:
- school, alongside educational settings such as Early Years and colleges is the best place for children and young people to learn and for their overall (mental and physical) wellbeing
- school and educational settings gives children a sense of regular routine and helps them develop their social skills
Public Health England (PHE) is clear that the risk of catching coronavirus (Covid-19) is low if schools apply a system of stringent controls to reduce the risk of spreading the virus. This includes regular handwashing and cleaning measures.
www.gov.uk/backtoschool has the latest information for parents and carers on the opening of early years providers, schools and colleges, safety in schools, attendance, transport, school meals and exams.
We also encourage parent and carers that if you should have any questions around the return to contact the school or educational setting. The Head teachers, form tutors and class teachers are well placed to provide advice, guidance and support. If your child has a Special Educational Need, you can also access advice and support from the SENCo and we encourage you to do so.
The following leaflets for parents have been developed by the Department for Education and Public Health England:
Parent guide to sending your children to school
We have produced a quick guide for parents and carers to help you understand when to send your child to school and when to keep them home, the steps to take and when to send them back. This includes the new legal obligation to self-isolate:
Check this simple guide if there is a confirmed case of Covid-19 at your child’s school:
Concerns and answers to your questions
If you or your children are worried about the return to school, do not worry alone. Do talk with your school about your concerns, so that together we can work to overcome them and help you feel happier sending your children back. Visit our Mind You website and our young people and mental health page for further information.
We hope you and your families keep well, and that your children will enjoy returning to school and connecting with friends and teachers, with the assurance that they are in a safe and welcoming environment where they can thrive.