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COVID-19 - FAQs on returning to School

27 Aug 2020,

What is being done to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 in schools?

Every school, college and childcare setting has completed an extensive risk assessment and put in place infection control measures to reduce the risk to everyone.

These measures may include:

  • Children washing their hands regularly
  • More regular cleaning of classrooms and the whole school  
  • Children being in bubbles, to reduce contact with too many people
  • Varied start, lunch and finish times
  • Timetable changes to minimise contact between groups
  • One way systems for moving around school and different ways to enter and exit
  • Social distancing measures where possible

Are all schools and colleges reopening in September?

All stages of education from Early Years to post 16 will re-start in September with full attendance for all children and young people.

Do all children have to return to school?

Some children and young people with complex difficulties may not be ready to return to school. This will be dealt with on a case by case basis with families. If your child is unable to attend school or college for this reason, you should talk to your school /college about what support is in place in terms of remote education.

What can I do to support my child?

Before school starts in September you should talk with your child about what might be different when they go back, and why, but also reassure them that school is the best place for them to learn and a chance to spend time with their friends. 

Is it sensible to open schools again?

The scientific evidence shows that coronavirus (COVID-19) presents a much lower risk to children than adults of becoming severely ill, and there is no evidence that children transmit the disease any more than adults. Of course, there will still be risks while coronavirus (COVID-19) remains in the community, and that is why schools and colleges will be expected to put in place a range of protective measures.

Will children with Special Educational Needs be helped with return to school?

Schools have been advised by Ofsted to work closely with families to support the return of pupils supported by an EHCP back into school. Some pupils with SEND (EHCP or SEN support) will need specific help and preparation for the changes to routine when they return to school.  Schools will be planning to meet the needs of all children, including those with SEND and will use a range of ideas to help children settle back into school. 

What if I don’t send my child back to school?

Where a pupil is registered at a school, parents have a duty to ensure that children regularly attend.

Your child’s school will want to talk to you about how they can help your child to return to school and identify any additional support you or your child may require. Schools should work with you to improve your child’s attendance and alleviate any concerns you may have. Schools may consider referring parents for legal action, but only as a last resort. Where children are not able to attend school as parents are following clinical and/or public health advice, the absence will not be penalised.

What about getting to and from school?

Pupils should walk or cycle to school if at all possible.

The use of public transport by pupils should be avoided if at all possible. If public transport cannot be avoided, children and young people aged 11 and over must, by law, wear a face covering while on public transport (unless they are exempt).  The school may ask that children using public transport use a cleaning station when they arrive at school.

You should avoid car sharing with anyone outside your household.

What happens if a child shows symptoms at school?

If a child shows symptoms at school then they will be sent home as soon as possible that day.

The child will be isolated in school, looked after by a member of staff, until an adult is able to collect them.

Schools are well prepared to act appropriately and have a clear plan to follow to make sure that they take swift advice and action to reduce the risk of infection spreading.

What happens if someone in school tests positive for the virus?

If a single pupil or staff member tests positive for Covid-19 the school will inform Public Health England (PHE) and the Public Health Team at Bradford Council. PHE will then provide advice to the school and close contacts may be asked to isolate for 14 days.

If there are two or more confirmed cases, PHE and our Public Health team will work with the school to agree the best course of action which may be to temporarily close a group or school.

Schools are well prepared to act appropriately and have a clear plan to follow to make sure that they take swift advice and action to reduce the risk of infection spreading.

What if my child is told to isolate?

If your child is advised to stay at home and isolate, virtual learning should be put in place by the school.

What if I, my child or someone else in our household develops symptoms?

  • your household should isolate immediately and you should book a test for anyone with symptoms at or by calling 119
  • your child should not attend school
  • if your child has a positive result you should tell the school and your child should isolate for 10 days
  • members of your household should isolate for 14 days
  • if your child is not a known contact of a confirmed case they can return to school if the result is negative, provided they feel well and they have not had a fever for 48 hours
  • if your child is a contact of a confirmed case they must stay off school for the 14-day isolation period, even if they test negative. This is because they can develop the infection at any point up to day 14

Can I get my child tested for Covid 19?

Information on how to get a test in Bradford.

Parents should tell schools about the outcomes of a test.

More information on coronavirus in children.

Where can I get further information?

We encourage you to contact your school directly to discuss any specific concerns or queries.

The government has put together some guidance too

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The Bradford SEND Local Offer is a free and impartial service provided by Bradford Council. The information contained within the website is available for the purposes of identifying services and provision that are available to children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities. This information does not represent a recommendation or an endorsement of a Service or Provider and neither does the Bradford Council or its partners make any representations or warranties as to the accuracy of the information.

Anyone seeking to use or access a service or provision is responsible for undertaking their own checks to determine the suitability and fitness for purpose of that service and provision. Some providers will be registered and inspected by external agencies, such as Ofsted or the Care Quality Commission. Anyone working with children and young people will be required to have appropriate Disclosure and Barring Service Check (the replacement for the Criminal Record Check), safeguarding policies and insurance in place, which they should make available to you on request.