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Covid-19 school guidance

Covid-19 school guidance

Advice for parents

School or college is the best place for young people to be. As schools re-open for the Autumn term, we're doing everything we can to support these settings, ensuring they remain safe environments for local young people.

Current Covid-19 measures in schools and colleges

Local schools will have a range of measures in place to manage Covid-19 transmission day to day, including regular asymptomatic testing for secondary school pupils, ventilation and extra hygiene precautions. These can help keep everyone safe; and minimise disruption to face-to-face education.

If your child is aged 16 or over, they can also come forward for the Covid-19 vaccine at local walk-in vaccination centres.

If you are feeling anxious about your children returning, please speak to your school and we can work with them to help alleviate any worries you may have.

Rapid Covid-19 testing

Secondary and college students should continue to take twice-weekly rapid Covid-19 tests, even if they have been vaccinated. The tests are easy to do and results come back within 30 minutes.

You can collect lateral flow testing kits to use at home from several sites across the borough. Visit our Covid-19 testing webpage for details on how to access these tests.

The most up to date information can be found on the UK Government website, for information about schools reopening for all pupils.

Q: Will my child who attends school in Wokingham Borough have to wear a face mask at school?

Q: Is it safe to go to school?   

  • Yes, the benefit of attending school or college continues to significantly outweigh the Covid-19 health risk to children and young people
  • We are continuing to work with all schools and academies in the borough, and will support each governing body or trust to make decisions that are appropriate to their school and school community to ensure children, young people and teaching staff stay safe  
  • If you have any concerns, please discuss this with your school, and we can help to alleviate any anxieties you may have

Q: What’s being done to make schools safe?

  • We are supporting each individual school in the decisions they make for implementing additional Covid measures, based on what feels right for them and their communities
  • Anyone who has Covid-19 symptoms, or who tests positive for the virus, is being asked not to attend school
  • Schools will be encouraging regular hand washing throughout the day and will have extra cleaning regimes in place
  • Risk assessments will also consider the steps needed to protect children and staff who are more vulnerable to contracting the virus because of medical or complex needs, age or ethnicity

Q: Do children have to social distance?

  • There will not be a requirement for one metre or two metre distancing between children

Q: What time will school start and finish?

  • Bubbles and staggered start and finish times are no longer advised, however some schools may choose to keep them in place
  • Schools will keep parents informed directly on this

Q: What if my child gets ill with Covid-19?

If your child develops any of the following symptoms:

  • A new, persistent cough
  • High temperature
  • Loss or change to sense of taste or smell

They should stay at home, you should let the school know and get a test arranged immediately.

  • The child must self-isolate for 10 days from the onset of symptoms and while they wait for their test results
  • If the test is positive the NHS Test and Trace Service will request details of anyone your child has had close contact with. Please notify your school of the result
  • If the test is negative, they should go to school or college as normal

Q: What happens if my child has been in contact with someone with Covid-19 symptoms?

  • If your child has been identified as a close contact, you will be advised that your child takes a PCR test
  • They will not have to self-isolate, unless they have a positive PCR result

Q: Will my child be vaccinated?

  • All 16 and 17-year-olds in England are now eligible for their first Covid-19 vaccine dose
  • The NHS will also contact 12 to 15-year-olds to receive the vaccine if they are previously considered Clinically Extremely Vulnerable, have an underlying health condition, or may live with an individual who is immunosuppressed

Q: What about before and after school clubs?

  • Check with your child’s school – they will be making their own arrangements

The UK Government has published leaflets for parents of children returning to school this Autumn:

Visit our webpage for more information and resources for parents and carers to help them as they prepare young people to return to school.

If they live close enough, children are encouraged to walk or cycle to school, both for their own safety and to relieve pressure on reduced capacity public transport. Visit the My Journey Wokingham website to see suggested walking routes.

There are a number of measures parents and their children can take in order to keep school buses safe.

Before the school journey

  • Children and young people aged 11 and over are encouraged to wear a face covering on public transport and dedicated school transport
  • Journeys may take a little longer to ensure no crowding when getting on or off the bus, please be patient and wait 15 minutes past the scheduled pick-up time before reporting any non-arrivals
  • When boarding and alighting from the vehicle, do so in a calm and orderly manner maintaining a distance from the passenger in front of you

During the school journey

  • Where a bus pass is required, it must be shown to the driver rather than handing it to them to hold
  • Passengers must fill from the back of the bus until it arrives and then leave from the front, avoiding passing others in the aisle.
  • Where available, passengers must use the hand sanitiser provided when entering and leaving the vehicle
  • Passengers must treat all people at the designated stop, including other passengers and staff, with respect and understand that some may be at higher risk
  • Passengers must not intentionally cough, spit, or invade another passenger’s space or the driver’s space

At the end of the school journey

  • Passengers must take all belongings with them when exiting the vehicle, it will be more difficult to return forgotten items during this time
  • Passengers must check the area outside of the vehicle doors before exiting and adhere to the appropriate and current social distancing legislation, there may be other students or public passing the vehicle

Students and parents can also read the UK Government guidance or the Home to School Transport code of conduct addition (PDF document) if they are unsure of the behaviour expected.

Train travel

If your child gets the train to school, it is advised that they wear a face mask during their journey. For full rules on public transport use visit the UK Government website.

Students in Wokingham Borough are likely to get the train with either Great Western Railway or South Western Railway depending on where they are travelling.

You can read the Great Western Railway guidance for Covid-19 travel.

You can read the South Western Railway guidance for Covid-19 travel.

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