Frequently Asked Questions
We have put together a list of Frequently Asked Questions for parents as children go back to school after the summer break.
Are all year groups and all pupils required to be back to school?
Yes, attendance is mandatory. Public Health England and the Government’s Chief Medical & Scientific Officers agree that there is a very low risk and rate of severe illness in children and young people from COVID-19. The benefit of attending school or college continues to significantly outweigh the COVID-19 health risk to children and young people. If you have concerns, you should discuss these with your school or college and local authority so that your child is able to continue attending school or college.
What will happen if I don’t send my child or children to school?
All pupils should return to school from the Autumn term unless they have tested positive for COVID-19, have developed symptoms of COVID-19 and are awaiting PCR test results, or have been asked to quarantine.
In line with national guidance, risk assessments have been carried out and various safety measures have been put in place.
If you have concerns about COVID-19 and potential risk factors, ensure you are familiar with the safety measures in place at your school and talk to the school about your concerns.
Is the full re-opening of schools increasing the spread of COVID-19?
In line with national guidance, risk assessments have been carried out and various safety measures have been put in place to ensure the safety of staff, pupils and parents/carers
Schools are being advised to keep regular handwashing and cleaning regimes, as well as keeping spaces ventilated. Educational settings are also working closely with local Public Health teams.
My child uses dedicated school transport to get to school. Is this safe?
Schools have worked with Merseytravel and transport operators and providers to put in place safety measures on dedicated school transport to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection.
My child uses public transport to get to school. Is this safe?
Where possible, children and young people are always encouraged to walk or cycle to school. Where children and young people use public and dedicated transport to get to school, proportionate control measures should be in place. This includes recommendations that face coverings are worn in enclosed and crowded spaces where you may come into contact with people you don’t normally meet including public and dedicated transport, the promotion of good hand and respiratory hygiene and ventilation.
In addition, those with symptoms should avoid using public transport and should be, where possible, collected by a member of their family or household.
Should children wear face coverings in school?
Face coverings are no longer advised for pupils, staff and visitors in either classrooms or communal areas. The government has removed 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. This includes public transport and dedicated transport to school or college.
If there is a substantial increase in the number of positive cases in your school, the director of public health might advise that face coverings should temporarily be worn in communal areas or classrooms (by pupils staff and visitors, unless exempt) in an educational setting.
Should I wear a face covering when collecting my child from school?
Face coverings are no longer advised for pupils, staff and visitors in either classrooms or communal areas. The government has removed 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.
If my child is unwell but has no symptoms, do I need to book a test for them?
All positive COVID-19 cases will need to self-isolate and follow national guidance. They should not return to their educational setting until the end of their isolation period. From the Autumn term, NHS Test & Trace will be responsible for contact tracing of all positive cases. If your child or young person tests positive for COVID-19, you should still inform your educational setting, however contact tracing will then be conducted by NHS Test & Trace.
If my child has COVID-19 symptoms, do I need to book a test for them?
If your child develops COVID-19 symptoms, however mild, you should book an appointment for them to have a PCR test. They should not come into school whilst they are awaiting the test results, even if they feel better. If the test is negative, they can return to school. If they test is positive they should continue to isolate and follow public health advise. You can book and appointment at www.gov.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119.
More information on symptoms can be found at www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/symptoms/
Can I take my child to A&E if I can’t get a test?
No, parents and carers should not take children to A&E departments for a test. COVID-19 tests are available from www.gov.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119.
My child’s school say I must have a negative test result before they are allowed back to school is this right?
No, schools must not require students to provide evidence of a negative test before letting them back to school.
When can a pupil or staff member that has tested positive return to the educational setting?
Pupils and staff members who have tested positive can return to the educational setting after the 10-day isolation period (day 0 is the day of symptom onset or test date, if asymptomatic) if they no longer have a temperature. If they are still experiencing a temperature after 10 days of isolation, they should continue to stay at home and not leave the house and seek medical advice. NHS Test and Trace will be able to advise around isolation end dates.
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 of a household or non-household member that has tested positive for COVID-19, you will be advised that your child takes a PCR test. They will not have to self-isolate, unless they have a positive PCR test result.
What will happen if another child in the same class tests positive for COVID-19?
From the Autumn term, NHS Test & Trace will be responsible for contact tracing of all positive cases. If a child or young person tests positive for COVID-19 in the educational setting, they should still inform the educational setting, however contact tracing will then be conducted by NHS Test & Trace.
Under 18’s will no longer be advised to isolate if they are identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19. Instead, they’ll be asked to take a PCR taste, and if positive, only then will they be required to self-isolate by following the national procedures in place.
Local health protection teams will support educational settings that are experiencing a substantial increase in the number of positive cases in the educational setting. The director of public health might advise that temporary measures be reintroduced, where required.
If my child was previously considered as clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV), should they attend school?
Yes. All children who were considered as CEV should have returned to school following the end of shielding measures on 1 April 2021. Further guidance will be given to parents of children who were previously considered clinically extremely vulnerable where necessary.
Will my child be required to continue any remote learning?
If your child is isolating due to a positive PCR test, schools will continue to implement high-quality remote education so that children can learn from home if they are well enough.
How will my child catch up on any lost learning?
There is lots of support available to help your child catch up on any lost learning over the course of the pandemic or to boost their wellbeing. To find out more about what’s on offer and who’s eligible, visit: www.educationcatchup.campaign.gov.uk or speak to your child’s school.