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Back to school campaign launched ahead of new term

Worcestershire Children First Logo Published Tuesday, 31st August 2021

A new back to school campaign has been launched to help students and parents prepare for a safe return to school when the new term begins next week.

The campaign will help inform students and their carers/parents about the changes to restrictions and what will be staying the same as schools prepare to re-open their doors.

The key changes to look out for are:

  • The use of bubbles within schools to reduce mixing is no longer required.
  • Close contacts will now be identified via NHS Test and Trace. Education settings are no longer expected to undertake contact tracing.
  • Face coverings are no longer a requirement for pupils, staff and visitors either in classrooms or in communal areas unless advised by Public Health. Face coverings are still recommended for use on public transport and dedicated transport to school or college.
  • Pupils will no-longer be asked to take part in remote learning, unless they are self-isolating as a result of symptoms themselves or as a close contact.

It’s not all change though as:

  • Children and young people will still have regular opportunities for handwashing and cleaning of frequently used surfaces.
  • Onsite testing for secondary aged students in preparation for return and regular testing at home will continue into first part of autumn term.
  • Schools will still be expected to keep occupied spaces well ventilated and follow public health advice on testing, self-isolation and managing confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Pupils should only self-isolate if they have symptoms or if they get a positive PCR or Lateral Flow Device (LFD) test.

If you have symptoms you can book a PCR test via the official Coronavirus test booking site.

If there are a number of cases in one school or college, there is advice in place so teachers and staff know what to do.

Schools and colleges will continue to do everything they can to minimise the impact on education and attendance, whilst managing cases. This may mean that testing may be increased during the period of an outbreak, and face coverings may be re-introduced on a temporary basis.

All schools will be evaluating their risk assessment and some schools may keep certain measures in place, for example smaller groupings of children and or arrangements for break times and moving around school whilst the term gets underway.

Councillor Marcus Hart, Cabinet Member for Education said: “Starting or returning to school in September is a priority for development, achievement and enjoyment of Worcestershire’s children and young people. We want to reassure children, young people and parents and carers that we are continuing to do all we can to make sure that the back to school experience is as safe and stress free for everyone as possible. I’d encourage all of our students, if they begin to feel unwell or develop symptoms whilst at school, please tell a member of staff, and I would also advise parents to keep an eye out for symptoms. We are ready to respond and support schools and parents and carers if there are any positive cases in schools.”

For tips on how to get ready to start school and make the most of your childs learning, please visit the County Council's dedicated Ready for School webpage.