Back to school guidance

With the return to schools, guidance is being distributed from the Department for Education and the government.  The goal is to reduce the disruption to children and young people’s education – particularly given that the direct clinical risks to children are low and every adult has been offered the vaccine.

Schools and colleges are maintaining proportionate protective measures such as testing, ventilation and extra hygiene precautions that help keep pupils and staff safe and minimise disruption to face-to-face education.

Secondary schools and colleges are offering two tests on-site at the start of term, followed by continued regular testing at home. Students aged 16 and 17, as well as younger children aged 12-15, are encouraged to take up the offer of the vaccine.

There are three key points to note:

1. Mixing and ‘bubbles’

Keeping pupils or students in year group or classroom bubbles

2. Tracing close contacts

Close contacts will now be identified via NHS Test and Trace. Education settings are no longer expected to undertake contact tracing.

3. Face coverings

Face coverings are no longer advised for pupils, staff and visitors either in classrooms or in communal areas.

You can read more by following these links: Schools COVID-19 operational guidance – GOV.UK (    Back to school – what you need to know – The Education Hub (

When an individual develops Covid-19 symptoms or has a positive test

Pupils, staff and other adults should follow public health advice on when to self-isolate and what to do. They should not come into school if they have symptoms, have had a positive test result or other reasons requiring them to stay at home due to the risk of them passing on the virus (for example, they are required to quarantine).

Read more about the return to school here: Back to school campaign launches – GOV.UK (