From this Monday most schools will begin to open. Here’s what you need to know…
What may change?
Many schools have remained open throughout lockdown for keyworkers’ children and vulnerable children. Special schools have also remained open in some instances for respite care. From Monday June 1st, schools will begin to welcome children from Reception, Year 1 and Year 6.
Why can more children go into school?
Many parents are concerned about this and unsure whether to send their children back to school. Being at school is good for children’s mental wellbeing though, and it is good for them to socialise with other children. School is the best place for them to learn the curriculum, and many will be eager to get back to their old routine.
Does my child have to go into school?
If your child is in Reception, Year 1 or Year 6 you can send them back to school - but you don’t have to at this time. At present it is your choice whether to send your child to school, and there will be no fines issued for nonattendance.
How will schools be made safe?
It is highly likely that, no matter the size of your child’s school, they will not be returning to the same environment they left. Schools will have made major changes to their settings to ensure children are able to socially distance. Schools will be performing regular risk assessments to ensure they are providing the best possible environment. There will be opportunities to wash hands regularly, and schools will be cleaned more frequently. Children are likely to be in smaller groups than normal classroom settings, and each group will be referred to as a "bubble.” Other measures may be in place, for example parents being asked not to enter the school building, different entrance and exit doors to the ones you are used to and so on. Some larger schools may implement staggered start and end times and staggered lunch times in attempt to avoid large crowds of people at school.
It is important to remember that if anyone at home is sick, your child must not attend school.
Will children be tested for COVID-19?
As a general rule, schools will not be testing children or taking their temperatures. Those children eligible to return to school will have access to testing if they display symptoms, as will any symptomatic members of their households - but schools will not be routinely checking temperatures or testing children.
What if there is a suspected case of COVID-19 in our school?
If there is a suspected case of COVID-19 in school, the person displaying symptoms must self-isolate for 7 days. They can also be tested, and return if the result is negative.
The people this person lives with must stay home for 14 days, and can be tested and return to normal life if their test is negative.
If anyone in schools tests positive for COVID-19, the whole group they are working with in school, including adults, may be required to self isolate for 14 days.