Schools, education and childcare
Arrangements and updates will be sent to you by your school, college, early years setting or childcare provider. Contact them directly if you have any questions.
- Return to school March 2021
- Family and household testing (for people over 16)
- Helping your child settle back in
- Remote education or home learning
- Free school meals
- Transport to school
- GCSE and A level exams
- Changes to services during Covid-19
Return to school March 2021
The government has set out its plan for the return of all pupils to schools and colleges as part of the Covid-19 Response – Spring 2021.
All children will be expected to attend school.
How we plan to keep children safe
There are practical measures in place for children in early years settings, schools and college.
- rapid testing (lateral flow) testing for staff, secondary school and college pupils
- secondary school and college students being encouraged to wear face coverings unless exempt
- regularly updating risk assessments
- following the latest public health guidance to create bubbles for groups of children and staff
- reminding children and young people to regularly wash their hands and use a tissue to sneeze into
- planning for your child to arrive and leave school safely (your provider, school or college will contact you directly with the details)
- using one-way systems, floor markings or instructions on how to move around the building (for some schools and colleges)
- ventilation of classrooms and maximising the use of outdoor spaces for learning and play
We have guidance to help you understand testing for children and young people.
Primary school children do not need to test regularly. If they have symptoms they should isolate and you can book a test on GOV.UK or call 119.
There will be individual risk assessments for children who may not be able to take a rapid test (lateral flow).
Each school will have their own safety measures and guidance.
Please remind your child to wear their face covering over their mouth and nose (unless exempt). They should keep it in a clean bag when not wearing it and bring a spare one.
You can watch these videos from local schools which give examples of:
- the extra measures in place to help prepare you and your child – Blackhorse Primary School
- how teachers and parents are feeling about the return to school, and to reassure your child if they feel anxious – Raysfield Primary School
If your child has concerns about taking a test they can watch this video to find out what it is like to take a Covid-19 test at school or college.
What to do if there is a confirmed case of Covid-19 at your child’s school
Family and household testing (for people over 16)
As well as your child being tested at secondary school or college, everyone over the age of 16 without coronavirus symptoms are being encouraged to take a rapid test (lateral flow) twice a week.
Find out where you can collect the test kits on our testing and self-isolating page.
Helping your child settle back in
We know that every child and family has had different experiences over the past year and that children who are anxious will need more help to settle in.
Along with the work that schools are doing to help your child’s social and emotional needs, there are things you can do to help.
Our Mind You website has information for parents and carers on returning to school.
Remote education or home learning
All schools and colleges are providing remote education. Your child will be supported to learn even when schools are closed or if your child cannot go to school as they are shielding or self-isolating.
If your child has an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) then the school will discuss the remote learning with you as this will need to be co-produced.
Extra learning resources
A range of free online activities and learning resources for children of all ages are available on the Integra website.
Devices and internet access
We want to support families whose child needs a device or internet access to carry on learning.
Contact your child’s school if you need this type of support or have any questions about devices or internet access.
Free school meals
We are continuing to make sure children who are entitled to free school meals are getting them.
Each school will have their own process in place for this to make sure that you child gets a meal if they are at home.
Contact your school if you have any questions about free school meals in term time or during the school holidays.
You can read more about free school meals in the government guidance: Providing school meals during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
There are free Easter holiday activities for children and young people who get benefit related free school meals.
Transport to school
If your child is going to school or college and gets help with transport, this will continue. Any questions should be emailed to email@example.com.
GCSE and A level exams
You can read about GCSE, AS and A level exams on GOV.UK: Guidance to support the summer 2021 exams
Changes to services during Covid-19
For the latest information on council services and opening status of council buildings due to coronavirus (Covid-19) visit our changes to council services page.