Back to School

Back to School

From Stoke-on-Trent City Council:

This week and next pupils across the city will be returning to school. Over the past 18 months pupils have faced disruptions to learning and we hope this new academic year will be a much easier and enjoyable for them.

As we move into the autumn term, we need to strike the right balance so that we can maximise the number of children and young people in face-to-face education and minimise any disruption to their education and learning. While the benefit of education continues to significantly outweigh the COVID-19 health risk to children and young people, we know many parents will need reassurance about their return.

All schools and colleges have been advised to continue with regular hand-washing, cleaning regimes, and to keep spaces well ventilated. Schools should also have plans in place on what to do if there are a number of positive cases of COVID-19, or if measures are needed to be reintroduced for a limited period.

The following COVID-19 measures are now relaxed:

  • Bubbles and staggered start and finish times are no longer advised
  • Children can again have break times and lunch together and take part in practical lessons and sports with other classes and year groups
  • Face coverings are no longer required for staff or visitors
  • Pupils and students identified as a close contact will not need to self-isolate

Testing

At the start of the autumn term, school staff and secondary school and college students are advised to take two on-site rapid COVID-19 tests (3-5 days apart), followed by twice weekly testing at home.

Around 1 in 3 people with COVID-19 have no symptoms and can spread it without knowing. Taking regular rapid tests will help give you peace of mind that your child is not spreading the virus and will help protect family and friends.

With the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, young people are now able to enjoy more freedom in their education. We should be clear that a positive case should no longer mean the sort of measures that we saw throughout the last academic year. If a child or young person has been identified as a close contact, they will be advised to take a PCR test. They will not have to self-isolate, unless they have a positive PCR test result.

To find out more about what to expect when pupils return to school or college in September visit gov.uk/backtoschool or speak to your school.

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