The Government's Stage 4 guidance currently states schools will be returning to some form of normality in September.
This includes amongst other things the lifting of bubbles and not wearing facemasks. However, in certain circumstances such as a local outbreak then measures may be reintroduced.
Secondary school pupils who attend summer schools will still be asked to undertake tests throughout the time they are there.
All secondary school pupils will be asked to undertake two on-site lateral flow tests, three to five days apart, on their return in September.
You may find when children return to school that some of the changes will remain in place. This is because schools have found that some of the measures have improved the systems used and have proven to be beneficial.
All school situations are different and what happens in one school will not necessarily be the same in another. Please respect the systems that your school has in place. All schools will be reviewing their risk assessments to ensure that all the children, young people, staff and visitors, including parents and carers, remain safe.
Attendance continues to be mandatory and therefore pupils should be attending school during term time. Please remember this when planning holidays.
If you need support, information, advice and guidance about your child’s education, you will find lots of information in this section. It ranges from government guidance on the phased reopening of schools, to information about GCSE and A-level examination results, as well as resources to help your children continue to learn while at home.
Where can I find government advice for parents about the reopening of schools?
You can find information for parents and carers about the wider opening of nurseries, schools and colleges, transport, attendance, free school meals and remote education by clicking the link below.
Will it be safe for my child to return to school?
Sefton Council work closely with school leaders, the Department for Education, teachers unions and parents and carers to ensure that Sefton schools reopen in the safest way possible. You will find more information becomes available on this as our risk-assessments and plans are refined. Keep an eye on the council’s website and your child’s school’s website for further updates.
Which year groups is the government prioritising?
All year groups returned to school on 8th March, however some secondary schools staggered their return to take account of testing. It is now mandatory for all children to return to school.
What is happening regarding testing?
All pupils attending secondary schools voluntarily, with parental permission are bing tested three times in school over two weeks, they will then undertake home testing.
Where can I find information on Sefton’s community services, for example library opening, during Covid-19
Sefton Council for Voluntary Services – information and resources for children, young people and families in Sefton.
My child is due to move to primary school, secondary school or college. Will there be any support? What will transition arrangements will be in place?
Schools and colleges across Sefton are working hard to establish the most effective ways to support the transition arrangements for children moving into the Reception Year, Year 7 and Year 12. We realise that this is particularly daunting for parents and children who are due to move to a new school or college. You should contact the school or college that your child is due to attend in the new academic year for details of the offer that they have, or will have in place.
How do I help my child to continue learning remotely?
There is a wealth of information to help parents and carers educate their children on the internet. Some of the most useful advice can be found below. You will also find information about how your child’s school is supporting remote learning by visiting the school’s website. All schools are now providing remote learning and this will continue after 8th March is any children have to self-isolate.
Sefton Council has compiled a range of resources.
Advice for parents and carers looking after primary school children.
Some examples of online educational resources for parents and carers to help children to learn at home.
Advice for parents and carers of early years children who have not yet started school.
Helping your child to learn to read. The government has provided a resource called ‘Letters and sounds’, however, you school may also be able to provide information about the phonics schemes that they are using. Please visit your school’s website or contact them.
Is there is a temporary extension of the eligibility criteria for the free early education entitlement for two-year old entitlement?
Yes, there is. If you're the parent or carer of a two-year-old and you receive certain benefits you could be eligible to apply for a free early education place.
Temporary additional criteria
The criteria for an eligible 2-year-old place are temporarily extended during coronavirus and currently also include children assessed as being vulnerable and meeting the definition in Section 17 (s17) of the Children Act 1989 and who have No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF).
Who can apply?
Your child might be eligible if you receive any of these benefits:
- Income Support
- income based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- income related Employment and Support Allowance
- support under Part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- the guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
- tax credits and have an annual income under £16,190 before tax
- the Working Tax Credit 4-week ‘run-on’ (the payment you get when you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)
- Universal Credit and has an annual income below £15,400.
- children of Zambrano carers (derivative right to reside in the UK under European law as the primary carer of a British child or dependent adult)
- children of families with no recourse to public funds (right to remain in the UK on grounds of private and family life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights)
- children of is an asylum seeker receiving asylum support from the Home Office under section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
Or if your child:
- receives Disability Living Allowance
- has an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)
- has a child protection plan
- is looked after by Sefton
- is a member of a travelling family
- has left care but are not able to return home (are under a special guardianship order, child arrangements order or adoption order)
What if my child has special educational needs and/or disabilities?
Advice for parents and carers looking after children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
Where can I find information about the cancellation of GCSE, AS and A levels in 2021? How will my child’s grade be calculated? When will my child get their results?
I have heard that some pupils are being issued with laptops or tablets. Is my child eligible for a government issued device?
Guidance for local authorities, academy trusts and schools on how to get internet access, digital devices and support to provide remote education during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Local authorities can also get support for care leavers, and children and young people with a social worker.
I am concerned about travelling with my children to school.
Guidance and advice has been published by the government to support parents/carers as they prepare to send their children back to school.
If you need support with your child’s mental health or well-being, you will find lots of information on the websites below. You will also find links about how to promote the safer use of technology with your child.
What resources are available to support my child’s mental health and well-being during coronavirus?
Sefton Council’s health and well-being directory
DfE resources for parents on children’s mental health and well-being
NSPCC - Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice and support for parents and carers.
Childline – help for children’s well-being during coronavirus
Advice and resources for parents to support children’s well-being and education.
Young people's mental health and well-being during Covid-19
Supporting Your Child During the Coronavirus Pandemic
Gingerbread - Coronavirus Information for Single Parents
Bernardo’s – information for parents and carers during coronavirus
UNICEF – six ways parents can support children through coronavirus
Headstogether – tackling mental health issues
UK Safer Intranet Centre – advice for parents to help children to stay safe online
Thinkuknow – staying safe online
If you have any questions about financial help and support during the coronavirus outbreak, you will find a whole list of resources below. Don’t forget, you can always go to Sefton Council’s advice and benefits page for direct links to council services and, if you are eligible, application forms for additional financial support.
Where can I get information about free school meals during Covid-19?
If your child or children are already eligible for Free School Meals and you are enquiring about what alternative arrangements are being made whilst the schools are closed, you MUST contact your child’s school for this information. Further information can be found at: Sefton Council – Free School Meals
Covid-19 – financial advice and benefits
Covid-19 (Coronavirus) is putting pressure on people's incomes and quality of life, it's important for you to understand what it means for you if:
- you need urgent financial support
- receive Council Tax reduction for low income
- receive Housing Benefit
- receive Discretionary Housing Payments
- struggle to pay your Council Tax
- rent and need support.
On this page you can also find out about changes to support and benefits from central Government, including:
- Universal Credit
- Statutory Sick Pay
- Self-employment Income Support Scheme
- Furloughed Workers
- Visiting a Jobcentre
- Assessment for health and disability related benefit.
For further information about any of these issues, visit Sefton Council’s website - advice and benefits page.
How can I access a food bank?
Some families are facing increased challenges during the outbreak of Covid-19. If you cannot afford to buy food, you should contact a local food bank. Details can be found below. You will also find information on how food banks work. Don’t forget that you can still contribute to local food banks should you wish to donate goods. You can find further information on Sefton Council’s website.
You can find information about how to access a food bank by clicking one of the links below:
In Sefton, there are food banks in the following locations. Please note that this list is not exhaustive. Be sure to check the opening times on the website before travelling.
Ainsdale Methodist Church
Bootle, St Leonard’s Youth and Community Centre
Formby Methodist Church
Crosby Area Food Bank, Waterloo Town Hall
Litherland, Linacre Mission
Litherland Youth and Community Centre
Maghull Methodist Church
Netherton, St Oswald’s Church Centre
Ormskirk Food Bank
Scarisbrick New Road Baptist Church
Southport Community Centre
Southport, Grace Baptist Church
Southport, Lakeside Church
Waterloo, Foodbank Warehouse