Coronavirus: council service information and advice
We're working with schools and early years settings to ensure this page is kept updated. Your child's school or setting should contact you directly with any changes.
Please follow the government's latest coronavirus advice on Gov.UK.
As early years settings, schools and colleges prepare to welcome back all year groups in September, we have brought together information, advice and support to help families get ready for the new school year.
On this page you'll find tips for preparing for going back to school, information on how schools are getting ready, and links to where you can find additional help and support.
You can also visit your school's own website or social media pages for more detailed information about how they are preparing.
Tips for preparing for going back to school
- Talk to your child about what they are looking forward to about going back to school. For example, seeing their friends, the playground, or their favourite subjects.
- Chat about what school may be like when they go back. Some schools will share videos or pictures of the classrooms online that you could look at together.
- Listen to your children's concerns and let them know its ok to feel anxious about going back to school. Address any misinformation they have and encourage them to ask questions.
- Let them know that teachers and staff will be there to support them and answer their questions. Teachers will be focusing on helping them feel settled, safe and happy above all else.
- Think about your school routine. Try on the uniform, check arrangements for breakfast and after school clubs and get into the habit of getting up early and going to bed at the right time.
- Plan ahead for how you will get to school. Think about a fun way to actively travel to school. Try out the route before terms starts and consider if there are any social distancing measures in place on the way.
- Encourage your child to see friends before term starts to help them feel part of the school community again. Arrange a small outdoor get-together or online catch up.
- Talk to your children when you feel calm as they'll pick up on adults' anxieties. It's ok not to have all the answers yourself but remember local support and information is available if you want it.
Early years and primary schools
Primary schools are looking forward to opening up to all year groups in September. We've already seen that children who have spent a long time at home have returned eagerly and have settled very quickly.
When children start school or nursery in September, the priority will be helping them settle in and looking after their health and wellbeing above all else.
We know that young children seek out adventure and thrive on being active and interacting with others their age. Schools are set up for this and will help your child build friendships and have fun while learning.
When pupils return to school in September, the priority will be to help them settle back into the school community and to look after their health and emotional wellbeing. Headteachers, teachers and staff will support the transition back to school and look after every pupil's wellbeing above all else.
From September, being in school will be the best way for pupils to keep on top of their learning. They'll be able to receive support and guidance from teaching staff and have access to the tools and resources they need to progress. Teachers are working hard to develop an engaging curriculum and lesson plans for the new school year. Pupils will be able to take advantage of a wide variety of learning tactics and resources.
Vulnerable children and pupils with special educational needs or underlying health conditions shouldn't feel excluded from returning to school in September. Your school can work with you to create an individual 'Welcome Back Plan' for your child that meets their specific needs and addresses any worries or concerns you may have.
How schools will operate
Schools have been working hard to prepare their buildings and classrooms for the new school year. They have plans in place to keep pupils as safe as possible, while making sure that the school day and classroom environment feels familiar and normal. Your school will share with you their specific plans and the support they have available for pupils.
Schools will be following national and local guidance on the pandemic.
Support will be available for any pupils who may have lost a loved one during the pandemic or experienced difficulties over the past few months.
Schools will be talking to children when they return about how staff and pupils can all work together to create a safe and enjoyable environment within the school.
In the event of an outbreak within the local community, schools will follow local guidelines and our local outbreak plan.
If you're worried that your child won't be able to cope returning to school, please contact the school. Your school will be able to talk about the steps it's taking to resettle all pupils back in at school and how they can help your child individually.
Possible coronavirus symptoms - step-by-step guide for families and schools
We have prepared a simple step-by-step guide to show what schools and families should do in the event of someone within a school, college or early years setting developing possible symptoms of coronavirus.
Travelling to school
The government recommends that children walk and cycle to school. Where this is not possible, use public transport or drive. Travelling actively to school (walking, cycling or scooting) helps to improve and maintain children's physical health as well as their mental wellbeing.
Visit our travelling to school webpage to find everything you need to know about:
- route planning
- road safety
- social distancing on the way to school
Helpful information and support
Here are some helpful sources of information and places you can find support as your family prepares for school: