Can my child/ren come back to school?

Following the Government guidance, Primary schools will reopen on Monday 1st June 2020 for children in Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6. Our Secondary schools will provide some face-to-face support to supplement the remote education of Year 10 and Year 12 students.

If you are classed as a keyworker or have a child/ren classed as vulnerable then the facility to offer emergency childcare at school still applies regardless of what year group they are in.

If my child/ren are not in the above year groups, when can they come back?

The Government’s ambition is to bring all primary year groups back to school before the summer holidays, for a month if feasible, though this will be kept under review. We will only welcome back additional year groups if the most up-to-date assessment of the risk posed by the virus indicates it is appropriate to have larger numbers of children within schools. The safety of children and staff is our utmost priority.

What are some of the ways you are ensuring the children are safe?

Whilst we are following all guidance and ensuring our settings are as safe as we can make them; we will adopt the below steps in order to minimise risk:

  • minimising contact with individuals who are unwell by ensuring that those who have coronavirus symptoms, or who have someone in their household who does, will not be permitted to attend school
  • cleaning hands more often than usual – wash hands thoroughly for 20 seconds with running water and soap and dry them thoroughly. We also have alcohol hand rub/sanitiser available and will ensure this is used.
  • ensuring good respiratory hygiene by promoting the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach for coughs and sneezes
  • cleaning frequently touched surfaces after each use
  • minimising contact and mixing by altering, as much as possible, the environment (such as classroom layout) and timetables (such as staggered break times)

Can my child/ren wear a mask?

Whilst the guidance is that face masks are not recommended in the school setting, if you and/or your child feel more comfortable then of course, they can wear one.

Will the staff be wearing masks/PPE?

Whilst the guidance is that face masks are not recommended in the school setting, if staff feel more comfortable then of course, they can wear one. PPE is only needed in a small number of cases:

  • children, young people and students whose care routinely already involves the use of PPE due to their intimate care needs should continue to receive their care in the same way
  • if a child, young person or other learner becomes unwell with symptoms of coronavirus while in their setting and needs direct personal care until they can return home. A fluid-resistant surgical face mask should be worn by the supervising adult if a distance of 2 metres cannot be maintained. If contact with the child or young person is necessary, then disposable gloves, a disposable apron and a fluid-resistant surgical face mask should be worn by the supervising adult. If a risk assessment determines that there is a risk of splashing to the eyes, for example from coughing, spitting, or vomiting, then eye protection should also be worn.

Do I have to send my child to school?

For the vast majority of children and young people, coronavirus is a mild illness. Children and young people (0 to 18 years of age) who have been classed as clinically extremely vulnerable due to pre-existing medical conditions have been advised to shield. We do not expect these children to be attending school or college, and they should continue to be supported at home as much as possible. Clinically vulnerable (but not clinically extremely vulnerable) people are those considered to be at a higher risk of severe illness from coronavirus. A small minority of children will fall into this category, and parents should follow medical advice if their child is in this category.

Will I be fined if I do not send my child back?

There will be no fines issued to parents/carers for non-attendance.

How many children will be in each class?

For primary schools, classes should have no more than 15 pupils per small group and one teacher (and, if needed, a teaching assistant). This will be adjusted based on classroom size so may be less than 15. If there are any shortages of teachers, then teaching assistants can be allocated to lead a group, working under the direction of a teacher. Vulnerable children and children of critical workers in other year groups should also be split into small groups of no more than 15. Desks should be spaced as far apart as possible.

What measures will be in place to socially distance?

Whilst every effort will be made to keep children away from each other, the nature of young children is to be close to each other. Contact in some cases will be unavoidable and we will ensure that with increased hand washing and working in small groups, we will minimise the risk as best as we can.

We cannot respond to complaints from parents/carers if children are in close contact. We want this transition back to school to be a positive one for our parents and pupils; to support this we will share with you our guidance on what to expect the school to be like and how we will help children in our care to stay safe. This we hope will help you when making the decision to send you child to school.

What equipment will my child be using and will it be shared?

In order to maintain an environment that is as normal as possible, children will be using pens, pencils and toys that other children use. They will be working in small groups and equipment cleaned, where possible, after each use.

Will my child take part in PE?

We will encourage children to take part in daily exercise but sports and PE lessons will be adapted to ensure the children are kept safe and limit contact.

My child’s uniform and shoes don’t fit what should I do?

We appreciate that during this period of lockdown; children have outgrown their uniform and school shoes. We understand that due to shops being closed, these items cannot currently be replaced, with this in mind we are asking parents to send children into school in their own clothes if their uniform and/or shoes do not fit.

If you are sending children in their own clothes, please ensure they are suitable for school and playing outdoors.

My child does not fall into any of the categories so does that mean they still have to stay at home?

Yes, children will continue with their home learning and work will continue to be provided in the same way as we are currently.

Can my child have snacks and lunch at school?

Yes, the school kitchen will be open. We may need to offer a reduced menu depending on how many children are in school. Those that are entitled to a free school meal will receive a meal as they would normally.

How to I drop my child off and collect them?

We need to ensure the safety of our parents/carers too so please follow all guidance at school when you drop off and collect your child. We want to limit the number of adults at these times, so please can you ensure one adult only attends to drop off and pick up. The school will provide information on specific instructions for their children.

We may stagger drop off and pick up times in order to keep everyone as safe as we can, further information will be sent to you from your child’s school.

Can I visit the school during the school day?

We are asking all parents/carers to avoid any visits and ask that you call or email the school if you have a questions/query. Please bear in mind that we will have reduced staff in the school office so please only make contact if your enquiry is urgent.

Will before and after school clubs take place?

Whilst we will try to offer as much as we can, clubs may not take place due to reduced staff numbers. Please plan that there will be no clubs and if we are in a position to offer them, we will make contact with you.

My child or a member of the household are showing signs of coronavirus – can my child still attend school?

No, if your child or anyone in your household shows signs of coronavirus, you must all self isolate as per Government guidelines.

If a child or member of staff at school develops symptoms during the school day, what will happen?

When a child, young person or staff member develops symptoms compatible with coronavirus, they should be sent home and advised to self-isolate for 7 days. Their fellow household members should self-isolate for 14 days. All staff and students who are attending an education or childcare setting will have access to a test if they display symptoms of coronavirus, and are encouraged to get tested if needed.

If the test is negative, they can return to their setting and the fellow household members can end their self-isolation.

If the test is positive, the rest of their class or group within their childcare or education setting should be sent home and advised to self-isolate for 14 days. The other household members of that wider class or group do not need to self-isolate unless the child or staff member they live with in that group subsequently develops symptoms.