Five things you should know about returning to school

Schools will soon be opening their doors and welcoming back all pupils since March.

All pupils must return to school in September, but it’s totally natural to feel a bit nervous or anxious about you or your child going back.

Teachers and school staff have all been working hard to make sure your child can go back to school safely, but these are some of the most important things you should know about what’s being done to responsibly get pupils back in the classroom where they belong.

1. Will schools be safe?

Schools are taking loads of measures to make school buildings safe and limit the risk of infection. These measures include improved signage and one-way systems, regular deep-cleaning, promoting handwashing and good hygiene, and changes to classroom layouts to allow for social distancing.

Read more about the measures being taken to keep schools safe.

2. Does my child need to wear a face-covering?

Manchester is currently under additional lockdown restrictions, and the Government has stated that teachers and pupils in Year 7 and above (secondary school and college) have to wear face coverings when in school hallways and other communal areas where social distancing is tricky. They don’t need to wear face coverings in classrooms as other measures will be in place in these rooms.

If your child is exempt from wearing a mask due to health issues or SEND, or if you can’t provide a face covering for your child, the best thing you can do is get in touch with their school and discuss it with them.

3. Will my child be in a bubble?

Your child’s school might be grouping pupils into bubbles, so that they can reduce contact between different people as much as possible. The size of these bubbles will depend on your school; they might be as small as 30 but in larger schools, they could be entire year groups. Bubbles might have adjusted timetables, with different start and finish times, and break times and lunchtimes in separate areas of the school.

4. What happens if somebody has COVID-19 symptoms?

If your child shows symptoms of COVID-19 during the day, they’ll be taken to a designated room and you’ll be called to collect them immediately. After this, your child must self-isolate for at least 7 days, and you should arrange a test to see if they have coronavirus.

Other members of your household, including any siblings, should self-isolate for 14 days from when your child first showed symptoms.

5. How will my child get to school?

Public transport and school bus services might not be able to fit as many people due to social distancing. To make sure there are enough spaces for children with no other options, you should plan for your child to get to school another way – walking, cycling, or driving – if these alternatives are at all possible.

If you need extra support

We know that returning to school after so long away might be a bit stressful, but you’re not on your own; we’re all in this together. If you’ve got any worries or concerns, you can always get in touch with your school to find out more about what they’re doing to make sure pupils can go back to school safely.