As you will probably already be aware, all remaining legal requirements in relation to COVID-19 in England have now been removed and replaced by guidance and an emphasis on taking personal responsibility. As a result the vast majority of the restrictions previously put in place in schools are no longer necessary.
The key messages from the government for schools are now;
- nationally, education and childcare settings are open, and attendance is mandatory (for schools) and strongly encouraged (at childminders, nurseries and colleges).
- the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health has made it clear that the overwhelming majority of children and young people still have no symptoms or very mild illness only.
- The ‘Test and Trace’ service and guidance has now been replaced by UKHSA guidance. Close contacts of those who have tested positive for COVID-19 will no longer be routinely traced.
- If the number of positive cases substantially increases in your nursery, school, or college, or if your nursery, school, or college is in an enhanced response area, you might be advised that additional measures should be introduced.
- all children aged 12 and over are now eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations.
- children and young people previously considered CEV should attend school and should follow the same COVID-19 guidance as the rest of the population.
- face coverings are no longer advised for pupils, staff and visitors in classrooms and communal areas.
You can find further information published by the Department for Education about what parents and carers need to know by clicking here.
If your child tests positive for COVID-19 and/or has symptoms then they should not come to school and should avoid contact with other people as much as possible, ideally self-isolating. It is currently recommended that anyone with COVID-19 self-isolates for at least 5 full days and then has two negative LFD tests at least 24 hours apart before returning to school. You can find full UKHSA guidance on this by clicking here. Please contact the school as soon as possible to let them know the reason why your child is not in attendance. The school reserves the right to refuse admission to any child that appears to be unwell or where they feel there is a significant risk of passing COVID-19 to other children and staff.
People who live in the same household as someone with COVID-19 are at the highest risk of becoming infected because they are most likely to have prolonged close contact. However children and young people who usually attend an education or childcare setting and who live with someone who has COVID-19 should continue to attend the setting as normal, providing that they are asymptomatic.
COVID-19 Risk Assessment
School specific documents can be found on each Academies website.