Schools and Adult Education
Last updated 11.12am, Thursday 27 August
Following government advice, it is compulsory for children of all school years to attend school from the start of the next academic year in September.
Our schools can provide a well managed environment, to reduce the risk of infection. Public Health England is clear that if settings do this, the risk of transmission will be lowered. These measures include:
- changes in pick up and drop off points, improved signage and one-way movement systems;
- ensuring those who have coronavirus symptoms, or who have someone in their household who does, do not attend;
- washing hands more often than usual;
- promoting good hygiene around sneezing/ coughing into tissue, which is then put in bin;
- cleaning frequently touched surfaces;
- changes to classroom layout and timetables to reduce contact;
- regular deep-cleaning;
- grouping pupils in a ‘bubble’ designed to help with infection control.
Due to social distancing, the capacity of public transport and school bus services may be reduced. We would encourage alternative means of transport (walk, cycle, car), where possible, to ensure there are places on public transport for those children who have no other options.
Reducing contact between people as much as possible is the main priority for schools. This will be achieved through pupils being placed in ‘bubbles’. Some ‘bubbles’ may be as small as 30 whereas in larger primary schools or secondary schools, ‘bubbles’ may be a whole year group. To reduce contact between pupils:
- ‘bubbles’ may have different start and finish times;
- ‘bubbles’ may have break times and lunch times in separate areas of the school;
- school timetables may be adjusted.
Hygiene & PPE
Schools will be washing their hands as soon as pupils enter the school, at regular intervals throughout the day and before going home.
Schools will be taking additional steps to ensure bathrooms are kept clean, including:
- being cleaned at regular times throughout the day;
- being cleaned thoroughly each evening or before school and this will include cleaning specific ‘touch points’ throughout school e.g. door handles, light switches etc.
While Manchester is subject to additional lockdown restrictions, the Government has stated that face coverings must be worn by adults and children in Year 7 and above (secondary schools and college) when moving around the school and in communal areas where social distancing is difficult.
Pupils in these year groups should therefore make sure they take a face covering into school with them.
If your child is exempt from having to wear a face covering due to medical issues or SEND, or if you're unable to provide a face covering for your child, please speak to their school.
It is not necessary for face coverings to be worn in classrooms as other measures are in place.
Shielding advice for all adults and children paused on 1 August. This means that the small number of pupils who were on the shielded patient list, or children with family members who have been shielding, can also return to school.
Symptoms and cases of COVID-19
If anyone shows symptoms of COVID-19 during the school day:
- They will be taken to a designated room.
- Staff will wear PPE equipment if necessary to provide support.
- Parents/next of kin will be contacted and the person will be expected to be collected from school immediately and will be advised to follow ‘stay at home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus infection’. They must self-isolate for at least 7 days and should arrange to have a test to see if they have coronavirus. Other members of their household (including any siblings) should self-isolate for 14 days from when the person showing symptoms first had symptoms.
If there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 in a school:
- Schools will contact the local health protection team.
- The health protection team will carry out a risk assessment to confirm who has been in close contact with the person during the period that they were infectious, and ensure they are asked to self-isolate.
- Schools will send home those people who have been in close contact with the person.
- These individuals should self-isolate for 14 days since they were last in close contact with the infected person.
- A letter will be sent to parents by the school to explain the situation if needed.
- If someone in a class or group that has been asked to self-isolate develops symptoms themselves within their 14-day isolation period they should follow ‘stay at home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus infection’.
- They should also get a test and follow the advice given with regards to isolation of themselves and their household.
What you can do
Reducing the risk of infection is a shared responsibility and as such, families can help by;
- ensuring that you read any correspondence from schools that will inform you about specific measures that are being put into place;
- reinforce good hygiene measures at home;
- encourage conversations at home with your child about how they and the school are adapting;
- discuss any concerns or questions you have with the school directly;
- monitor your family’s health, reporting any concerns with the school directly as soon as possible;
- work with the school with regards to any support that you or your child need to overcome barriers to attending school linking;
- report any absence from school in the way you would normally do so.
Children with symptoms
If your child has coronavirus symptoms, please follow the latest NHS advice
Department for Education helpline
A Department for Education helpline to answer questions about coronavirus for staff, parents and young people is available:
- Phone: 0800 046 8687.
- Email: DfE.email@example.com
- Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)