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COVID-19 Information

What parents and carers need to know about early years providers, schools and colleges in the autumn term.

As the country moves to Step 4 of the Roadmap, the government will continue to manage the risk of serious illness from the spread of the virus. This marks a new phase in the government’s response to the pandemic, moving away from stringent restrictions on everyone’s day-to-day lives, towards advising people on how to protect themselves and others, alongside targeted interventions to reduce risk.

As COVID-19 becomes a virus that we learn to live with, there is now an imperative to reduce the disruption to children and young people’s education – particularly given that the direct clinical risks to children are extremely low, and every adult has been offered a first vaccine and the opportunity for two doses by mid-September

The key messages from this guidance are:

  • nationally, education and childcare settings are open, and attendance is mandatory (for schools) and strongly encouraged (at childminders, nurseries and colleges

  • the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health has made it clear that the overwhelming majority of children and young people still have no symptoms or very mild illness only

  • over the summer, staff, secondary pupils and college students should continue to test regularly if they are attending settings that remain open
  • there is no need for primary age pupils (those in year 6 and below) to test over the summer period
  • secondary schools and colleges have been asked to prepare for on-site testing at the beginning of the autumn term
  • from Step 4 your nursery, school or college will no longer trace close contacts – close contacts will still be identified via NHS Test and Trace
  • from Step 4, your child does not need to remain in a consistent group (‘bubble’)
  • from Step 4, the government is removing the requirement to wear face coverings in law but expects and recommends that they are worn in enclosed and crowded spaces where you may come into contact with people you don’t normally meet

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