Government Guidance: What parents and carers need to know about schools in the autumn term.
All children and young people, in all year groups, will return to school full time from the beginning of the autumn term.
The prevalence of coronavirus (COVID-19) has decreased since schools restricted their opening to most pupils in March. The NHS Test and Trace system is up and running and we understand more about the measures that need to be in place to create safer environments.
The scientific evidence shows that coronavirus (COVID-19) presents a much lower risk to children than adults of becoming severely ill. There is no evidence that children transmit the disease any more than adults. However, there will still be risks while coronavirus (COVID-19) remains in the community.
To manage the risks, things will be a bit different in the new term. We have asked nurseries, childminders, schools and colleges to put in place a range of protective measures to help reduce the risks.
Attendance at school
It is vital that children and young people return to school, for their educational progress, for their wellbeing, and for their wider development. School attendance is mandatory from the beginning of the new academic year. This means that it is your legal duty as a parent to send your child (if they are of compulsory school age) to school regularly.
If you have concerns about your child returning to school because you consider they may have other risk factors, you should discuss these with your school. They should be able to explain ways they are changing things to reduce risks.
Self-isolation and shielding
A small number of children and young people may be unable to attend in line with public health advice because they:
If your child is unable to attend school for these reasons, ask your school what support they can provide for remote education.
Shielding advice for all adults and children was paused from 1 August. This means that children and young people can return to school or college if they:
Children and young people under the care of a specialist health professional may need to discuss their care with their health professional before returning to school. This should usually be at their next planned clinical appointment.
If children are not able to attend school because they are following clinical and/or public health advice, you will not be penalised.
Actions that schools will take
We have asked schools to:
Schools will minimise contact and encourage maintaining distance as far as possible. They will decide how best to do this because it will be different for each school. This will involve asking children:
We know that younger children may not be able to maintain social distancing. It is likely that for younger children the emphasis will be on separating groups, and for older children, it will be on distancing.
Actions you can take
Do not send your child to school if:
It is really important that you help schools to implement these actions by following the advice set out here and wider public health advice and guidance.