Educating children and young people
School full opening
As you will be aware following the latest government announcements, pupils returned to schools from 8 March.
The government has advised it will be sending letters to clinically extremely vulnerable people, informing them that they are no longer advised to shield from April 1, 2021. Clinically extremely vulnerable pupils and students should return to their school or other educational setting from April 1.
Secondary school testing
Pupils and staff in secondary schools have access to home testing kits (lateral flow tests), to be used twice a week. Families will need to collect kits for regular household testing from their nearest national testing centre. Your local pharmacy may also be able to supply testing kits.
Primary school testing
Primary school children will not be tested, although staff will continue to use home testing kits.
In secondary schools face coverings are advised for both adults and pupils when moving around the school. In addition, it is now advised face coverings are worn in classrooms.
in primary school schools the wearing of face coverings is advised for staff and adult visitors where social distancing is not possible. Children in primary still do not need to wear masks.
It remains important to wash hands and maintain social distancing where practical in line with government advice.
The Government has said all exams due to be taken in the summer will not go ahead as planned. Teachers will award based on a range of evidence such as coursework, essays and mock exams.
Early years and childcare services are expected to remain open if they can. Please contact your provider to check arrangements.
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, your social worker will be in touch to ensure you feel supported. We are continuing to prioritise referrals to protect children who are at immediate risk of harm.
Health provision in schools
Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust are recovering services to help children and young people to access healthcare support when they're at school. More information on how this can be delivered safely is given below.
What if there is a case of Covid-19 in my child’s school?
Schools will continue to follow the guidance from the government and Public Health when dealing with cases and will identify close contacts etc to take the appropriate action.
My child has a medical condition – do they still have to attend school?
The advice for pupils who have been confirmed as clinically extremely vulnerable is to shield and stay at home as much as possible until further notice. They are advised not to attend school while shielding advice applies nationally.
Will children be given the vaccine?
There are no plans at present to vaccinate all under 18s. However, all 16 to 18 year olds with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality will be offered a vaccine in priority group 6 of the vaccination programme.
I’m worried about the virus – can I keep my child at home?
Attendance at school is now statutory. Unless your child has a medical letter which identifies them as vulnerable, they are required to attend school and schools will follow their usual processes to chase up non-attendance. There is no expectation for remote learning to be put into place for children whose parents have chosen to keep them at home.
Does my child have to wear a face covering?
The guidance recommends that pupils in secondary schools wear face a covering when moving around school and in lessons too. This is to reduce the spread of virus particles in the air that come from people’s mouths and noses. Wearing a mask is voluntary, however and schools are relying on cooperation from pupils and parents in the combatting the spread of the virus.
My child is in Year 11/13, when will the school year end for them?
While no dates have been published by the government yet, we do know that GCSE and A Level teachers will be submitting grades until June 18th. Results for these groups will be released on 10th August (for A Levels) and 12th August (for GCSEs). Due to the varied nature of many different vocational courses, please contact your child’s school or college for further details. Before making any plans, you will need to check with your child’s school about summer arrangements.
Does giving my consent for a test mean that my child will not be able to take part in permitted activities at the weekend?
Giving consent for testing is vital. Students will not be prevented from taking part in permitted activities, including organised sport, if you give consent for testing. They would only need to isolate if they were to test positive. If all students take part in testing and isolate (if they have a positive result) to avoid spreading the infection to others, the chances of anyone testing positive will continue to fall.
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 about self-isolation and how long this should be on the NHS website.