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.

Early years settings and schools in Portsmouth have been working hard to make the right arrangements for more children to return.

Schools and early years settings have done a fantastic job teaching and caring for the children of key workers and vulnerable children and it is expected that more of these children will be returning.

Given that not all teachers are able to come into schools, and more keyworker children require places, not all schools are able to offer places to children in all of the year groups allowed back by the Government. Your child's school will contact you if they are able to offer your child a place.

On 19 June, the government announced that all pupils will return to school in September and will be working with schools to plan for this in line with the detailed government guidance when published.

Nurseries, early years and primary schools

In addition to children of keyworkers and vulnerable children, nurseries, early years settings and primary schools have been open to a wider group of children since 1 June.

Given that not all teachers are able to come into schools, and more keyworker children require places, not all primary schools are able to offer places to children in all of the year groups allowed back by the Government.

The Government has set out a recommended priority order:

  • children of key workers and vulnerable children
  • early years
  • reception
  • year 1
  • year 6


Please wait for your child's school to get in touch with you to let you know when it will be possible for your child to return.

Secondary schools

Secondary schools opened to a wider group of children from 15 June, in addition to children of keyworkers and vulnerable children. Please wait for your child's school to get in touch with you to let you know when it will be possible for your child to return.

The Government guidance is that only a quarter of the Year 10 group can come into school at any one time. Every school has different factors to take into account in how they approach the wider opening so arrangements will not be the same in all schools.

Head teachers are all working very hard to enable as many children as possible to come into school for as much time as they can while also making sure that teachers continue to support learning at home.

Special schools

Special schools have been asked to open to more children over time. Please wait for your child's school to get in touch with you to let you know when it will be possible for your child to return.

How schools will operate

To make sure that arrangements are as safe as possible for all children and staff settings and schools are following Government guidance. This includes teaching children in small groups, making sure there is as much social distancing as possible, ensuring everyone washes their hands frequently and increasing the cleaning of school buildings as well as staggering times for people to arrive and leave.

The detailed arrangements for each school are different and your child's school will keep you informed at all times.  If you have been offered a place for your child you are strongly encouraged to support your child to return to their school. It is not compulsory and there will not be fines for non-attendance, but your child will benefit from being with their peers and being taught by their teachers. If you do not take up an available place it may not be possible for your child's teacher to support your child's learning at home as much as they have been doing so far.

Schools and settings are keen to make sure that your child enjoys their time at school or nursery. They recognise that children may be anxious and that they may also have had relatives who have been ill with the virus. They will be working to make sure that all children feel supported and enjoy returning to learning.

Children who are still learning at home

Parents and carers deserve huge praise for the way you have supported your child's learning at home. If your child cannot yet return to school, the school will continue to support their learning as well as they can. Please continue to keep in touch with the school and follow the school's guidance on how best to support your child.

In addition to support from your child's school, you can find resources to help you on the Portsmouth Education Partnership website and on our activities for children while at home page.