Frequently Asked Questions for Parents about returning to school.
Frequently Asked Questions for Parents
Which year groups can start to return to school from 1 June 2020?
The Government has asked that schools start the phased return of Y6, Y1, Reception and Nursery children. Schools will manage this gradually and not all children will be in school full time as they are limited by space and staffing availability. Schools will write to parents to let them know what the arrangements are.
What about Key Worker children and vulnerable children?
Schools will continue to prioritise these children ahead of all others. This may limit the spaces available to children in some year groups. If you apply for a place for Key Worker Children, the school will need to see proof that you fulfil the requirements of a Key Worker.
Which additional children will be prioritised first?
Primary schools will prioritise children in this order:-
- • Vulnerable children
- • Key Worker Children
- • Nursery
- • Reception
- • Year 1
- • Year 6
Will my child be in school full time?
Key Worker children and vulnerable children will continue to be offered full time places in both Primary and Secondary schools. All other year groups will be on a phased return. In many Primary schools this is unlikely to be a full-time place due to space and staffing availability and schools will offer places for priority year groups first. Schools may have to operate a rota system for children to accommodate them across the course of a school week.
What happens if I do not want to take up the school place?
Your school will contact you to ask you if you would like to take a school place from wider opening in June. You do not have to accept the place. If you do not accept the place it will be offered to a pupil in another priority year group. If you change your mind then you must give your school at least one week’s notice as they may have to make staffing changes to accommodate extra children.
Will I get fined for not sending my child to school?
You do not have to send your child to school during this pandemic. There are no plans to fine parents of children who do not attend at the present time.
How will schools keep children safe?
Schools are following National Guidance produced by the Department for Education and Public Health England. They will operate social distancing (where possible), keep children in small groups throughout the day, increase cleaning schedules and ask children to follow more stringent hygiene routines. Further detail in the national guidance states that following a day at school, children’s uniform must be machine-washed. Schools may also stagger the start and finish of the school day to reduce the number of adults arriving and departing at the same time.
Is it possible to manage the youngest children to follow social distancing rules?
The Government accepts this is very difficult. Young children naturally want to play and work together. Initially, and for as long as is necessary, children will only be able to interact with a small group of other children. Schools will do their best given the space and resources they have available to manage children.
What happens if my child has special needs?
Schools will have completed an individual risk assessment for each child. This will be used to make a decision on whether it is safe for your child to return to school or whether they will be safer at home. Schools will talk with you directly to discuss your child’s needs.
Will teachers and staff have to use PPE?
If social distancing can be managed then staff will not generally use PPE. If a child becomes unwell and is displaying symptoms of COVID-19, staff will have to isolate that child from others and use PPE to protect themselves. In some circumstances, for example where a child needs personal care or has specific additional needs, staff may use PPE whilst they support a child.
My child is worried about coming back to school, how can I help them?
Talk to your child in a positive way about school, seeing friends and teachers again. Help them understand how social distancing works and make sure that they can wash their hands properly by themselves.
Will schools be teaching the National Curriculum when children return?
No. Schools will initially focus on ensuring children feel safe and anxiety free. They will deliver a curriculum designed to support children back into school routines and classroom learning. Teachers will use this time to work out what learning support children need and how they can support them further.
Will these measures mean that no-one will contract COVID-19?
No. COVID-19 can be contracted from anywhere and brought into school by one person who transmits it on. By maintaining bubbles and mini bubbles, we reduce the risk of transmission across groups. If a child tests positive for COVID-19, their whole bubble has to be absent from school for 14 days following government guidance.
Will schools continue to set work or activities for children at home
Schools will continue to provide some remote learning or activities for children to do at home. This will vary from school to school depending on whether they operate, for example, an online learning platform or have a website with suggested learning activities.
Will my child always be taught by the same adults?
Yes for the taught sessions, although some bubbles will have two adults in them. If your child attends care provision, they will come into contact with more than one adult. The adults have been instructed to socially distance where possible according to guidance.
How will staff remain safe?
Some staff will work from home if their role does not require them to be on site. Some staff who remain in the shielding group will also work from home. Most staff will be required on site due to the nature of their roles. They will work with the same set adults each day, maintaining social distancing. Staff breaks will be taken separately or with maximum social distancing. PPE will be supplied for all staff, and cleaners will continue with strict guidance on cleaning routines and procedures to minimise risk to them.
Will school staff still be able to administer medication?
This will be considered on a case by case basis to determine whether it is possible to administer all medication at home. The exception will be for those on site for the whole day, requiring antibiotics. We are highly unlikely to need to administer any pain relief as children with any symptoms, such as a cough, cold, raised temperature, sore throat must not be sent to school and must stay at home for 7 days.
Will the children’s temperature be checked on arrival?
No. We have been advised that this is not necessary. However, we strongly advise you to take your child’s temperature each day before sending them into school and if it raised, do not send them into school. If an outbreak of COVID-19 occurs in school then the directive from government states that all children within the bubble have to be quarantined for 14 days.