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Reopening schools and colleges

Reopening of schools and colleges

The Government has announced that some schools will re-open from June 1, 2020.  The return to schools will be phased, which means that not all children will go back to school at once. Here we’ve outlined key information for parents and answered some key questions. 


Who is going back to school? 

My child is 5 years old or younger  

The Government has advised that early years providers, nurseries and childminders can begin welcoming all children back from June 1.  


My child is in a mainstream primary school 

Primary schools have been advised to welcome back children in reception, Year 1 and Year 6. 


My child is in a mainstream secondary school or above 

Secondary schools, sixth forms, and further education colleges have been guided to begin some face to face support with Year 10 and 12 pupils but are not expected to return full-time at this stage. 


My young person is in specialist school or college 

Special schools and post-16 specialist provisions have been advised to work towards a phased return, with no emphasis on a certain year group. The return to specialist provisions will be decided case by case and informed by risk assessments for each pupil. 


My child or young person has already been attending school or college during Coronavirus 

Schools, colleges and educational providers should continue to offer places to children and young people in the priority groups, for example those whose parents are key workers, and vulnerable children and young people. 


Is it safe to send my child back to school? 

The Government has advised schools and colleges to implement a set of protective measures to ensure that staff, pupils and their families are safe. The school or college your child is attending will communicate their measures and plans to keep everyone safe. You can find out more about these potential measures and how to support your child or young person in our Preparing for the return to school or college page.  


When is my child returning to school? 

Each school will decide how to bring pupils back in a phased approach, so that children, their families and staff are safe. If your child is eligible for return at this point the school or college will get in touch with you to plan the return of your child. It is important that you communicate any concerns and queries you may have with the school, prior to them returning, so that staff can plan to make sure everyone is safe, and the transition is supported. 


What happens if I choose to keep my child at home? 

The government advises that all eligible children should attend school, unless they are shielding, or, if the child has a social worker, the social worker decides they would be safer at home. 

For all pupils with Education, Health and Care plans, risk assessments will be conducted. If it has been decided that their needs can be safely met in the educational environment, they are expected to return to school. 

However, parents will not be fined for non-attendance at this time. 


What happens if my child is shielding? 

If your child has a health condition that makes them extremely clinically vulnerable to Coronavirus, they should continue to shield and will not be expected to attend school or college. 

If your child is clinically vulnerable (but not extremely clinically vulnerable) you should follow your doctor’s advice about whether your child should or should not attend school or college. 

The NHS website lists the health conditions that fall within Clinically Vulnerable and Clinically Extremely Vulnerable categories.  


Should I send my child to school if someone else in my household is shielding? 

If someone in your household is extremely clinically vulnerable and shielding, your child should only attend school or college if stringent social distancing is possible, and if your child is able to understand and follow social distancing rules. 

If someone in your household is clinically vulnerable (but not extremely clinically vulnerable), and your child is eligible to start school, the Government advises your child should attend school or college. 


What do I need to know before sending my child back to school/college? 

Each school or college will take different measures to ensure everyone is safe.  

This means that the school or college your child is attending will change. These changes will affect each child in different ways. It is important to be aware of these changes prior to your child returning to school or college. This will help you feel better prepared and confident in supporting them with the transition back into school. 

You can also review our checklist of questions for families to consider that can help prepare for the transition back to school or college.