Government Guidance: What parents and carers need to know about schools in the spring term.
During the period of national lockdown, schools, alternative provision (AP), special schools, colleges and wraparound childcare and other out-of-school activities for children should allow only vulnerable children and young people and the children of critical workers to attend (recognising that the characteristics of the cohorts in special schools and alternative provision will mean these settings continue to offer face to face provision for all pupils, where appropriate). All other pupils and students should not attend and should learn remotely until February half term.
Early years provision should continue to remain open and should continue to allow all children to attend full time or their usual timetable hours. This includes early years registered nurseries and childminders, maintained nursery schools, as well as nursery classes in schools and other pre-reception provision on school sites. Only vulnerable children and children of critical workers should attend on-site reception classes. This is the default position for all areas irrespective of national lockdown restrictions.
Limiting attendance does not suggest that schools and colleges have become significantly less safe for young people. Instead limiting attendance is about supporting the reduction of the overall number of social contacts in our communities. We have resisted restrictions on attendance at schools since the first lockdown but, in the face of the rapidly rising numbers of cases across the country and intense pressure on the NHS, we now need to use every lever at our disposal to reduce all our social contacts wherever possible.
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.