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School Year 2021/22

The government issued guidance which parents and carers may find useful as  in the 2021/22 school year.

Please also check your child’s school website for details on specific guidance for that school, as each school has its own arrangements depending on school size, layout and number of coronavirus cases.

Education is integral to a child’s social and emotional development and to getting their education back on track. The benefits of attending school and early years settings significantly outweigh the COVID-19 health risk. We want to ensure that all children and students can experience as much normality and stability in their education and care settings as possible.

All children are expected to be in school unless they are self-isolating because they have coronavirus symptoms, have tested positive for coronavirus or been advised to by NHS Test and Trace.

Some parents and children may feel anxious about being in school, however, schools and settings are following national and local guidance to minimise the risk of infection, including guidance that recommends face coverings in communal areas in all schools for adults and for pupils from year 7 onwards. Please continue to encourage your child to follow the guidance.

Children are at very low risk of becoming seriously unwell from COVID-19. If your child needs support with their mental health, there is some useful guidance here.

Secondary school pupils will need to do two LFD tests a week. Your child’s school will inform you or you can check the school website for details. Order tests for home delivery or collect a pack of tests from your nearest collection point.

Children who have to miss school due to following coronavirus guidance will be given work by their school to do at home but schools are not expected to provide remote education for anyone else.

Staying safe and preventing spread of COVID-19

Self-isolation advice for people with a confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19) has changed. It is now possible to end self-isolation after 6 days, following 2 negative lateral flow device (LFD) tests on day 5 and day 6, taken 24 hours apart. The first LFD test should not be taken before the fifth day. Check here for more information.

Anyone with coronavirus symptoms must self-isolate and request a PCR test.

From 11 January 2022, if you are asymptomatic but your lateral flow tests result is positive, you must self-isolate and follow the current rules on self-isolation.

From 14 December 2021, guidance around close contacts of confirmed cases has changed. Read the latest update on self-isolation.

All children aged 12 to 15 years have been invited to receive the first dose of the vaccine as part of the school-based COVID-19 vaccination programme. They are now eligible for a second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, no sooner than 12 weeks after their first dose. More information about vaccination for children and young people.

Young people aged 16 and 17 are also eligible for both the first and  second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. See the vaccinations page for information on ways you can get your vaccine if you are aged 16 or 17.

Children and young people aged 12 to 17 with a weakened immune system or who live with others at increased risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19 are eligible for a third dose of the vaccine if it’s been eight weeks since their second dose and they have a letter from a GP, hospital consultant or the NHS confirming they’re eligible. Find out more

More information on vaccination

Possible coronavirus symptoms

The Wessex Healthier Together website has useful information for parents if you are worried that your child has coronavirus or another illness and you are not sure what to do.

Not all illnesses need time off school. This is a useful NHS guide on whether or not children can come into school with different types of illnesses.

You must get a test if you or anyone in your household has:

  • a high temperature (chest or back hot to touch)
  • a new, continuous cough or
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste

Find out more about getting a test in Portsmouth.

Find out more information about how to self-isolate, what you can and can’t do and what local support is available in our protect Portsmouth self-isolation guide.

You can find the latest NHS information and advice on the NHS website.

FAQs for parents

Helpful information and support

Here are some other helpful sources of information and places you can find support: