Back to school
All pupils, in all year groups, are now back at school and we’d like to thank you and your children for adapting so well to the new ‘normal’.
Unfortunately, we are seeing an increasing amount of positive cases of coronavirus in children and young people, so we need your help to try and keep the virus from spreading further.
Whenever there is a positive case, schools will need to ask other children, depending on the situation, to self-isolate and not come into school for 14 days. This is important as we want to keep people safe and minimise the risk of the virus spreading.
While schools will always do their best to ensure children continue to be supported in their learning, this is clearly a disruption to your child’s education.
We have requested that all parents and carers across the county wear face coverings when dropping off and picking up their children from school.
Children’s safety is a priority and we have taken this decision to further support children’s return to education and help to reduce the spread of coronavirus while advising that existing exemptions remain in place.
We would urge all parents and carers who are able to, to implement these preventative measures, in addition to washing hands frequently and social distancing. It is vital that children are in school, that schools are supported to ensure they remain a safe environment for children and we all play a part in preventing the spread of infection.Person:Mike Sandys, Director of Public Health
How you can help:
One of the key hotspots is school drop-offs and pick-ups. We appreciate it can be difficult at times but it’s vitally important that we all do our bit in helping to keep the virus at bay. We encourage you to:
- think about your distance - maintain a two-metre gap from other people and have conversations at a distance.
- wear a face covering whilst waiting at the school gate / playground when dropping off or collecting your child. (This doesn't apply to pre-school children or anyone that is medically exempt.)
- when waiting / socialising please be mindful of standing in walkways and thoroughfares.
- try to drop-off / pick-up as quickly as you can.
- remind yourself of your school’s specific arrangements and guidance. These will be based on risk assessments, so it is really important you follow these.
Coronavirus clearly poses a risk to the health of you, your families and local communities, so we need to work together and stick to the guidance.
Outside of school – Rule of 6:
We’d also like to remind you that new rules are now in place which state that people should not participate in social gatherings of more than six people in any setting, indoors or outdoors.
See Gov.uk news item: Rule of six comes into effect to tackle coronavirus
Risk of transmission
Risk to children
Children have a lower risk of COVID-19 compared to adults and, even when infected, they usually only develop a mild infection.
Evidence has shown that when a child is infected, this is mainly from an adult family member in the household, and not from the education setting. There is very little evidence of children being infected by school staff. Children are less likely to need to go to hospital with COVID-19, and when they do, they usually need less serious treatment than adults. In contrast, the harm to students’ mental health and their development of keeping educational settings closed is well established.
When a member of staff is infected, the transmission is more likely to be from their community, someone in their household, or from other school staff.
Transmission from children
There is good evidence that even when a child is infected, they are less likely to pass COVID-19 to:
- other children (as children have a lower risk of getting infected) and
Frequently asked questions
We've worked with the parent carers forum to answer some questions you might have about your child returning to school in Autumn 2020.
Parents and carers can read the following government guidance:
We are working hard to adapt how we deliver services to provide continued support and protection to our most vulnerable children. We are taking steps to find new ways of keeping in touch with children and families who are working with us and may need help at this difficult time.
If your child has a social worker you can contact them using their normal office number but be prepared for a call back as our staff prioritise calls.
If you’re a foster carer or connected carer our Fostering team will be in touch to ensure you feel supported. Our Front Door services are continuing to prioritise referrals to respond to protect children who are at immediate risk of harm.
Further school information
Your school will provide you with more information – including questions about school meals and transport.
A reminder that children who need to self-isolate for whatever reason should not be at school. Find this latest information on the NHS website about self-isolation and how long this should be.