COVID-19 Vaccinations for 12 to 15 year olds

Following advice from the four UK Chief Medical Officers (CMOs),the Government has announced that people aged 12 to 15 in England will be offered one dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

The NHS is preparing to deliver a schools-based vaccination programme, which is the successful model used for other vaccinations including for HPV and Diphtheria, Tetanus and Polio (DTP). Invitations for vaccination will begin next week.

In Sussex, vaccination sessions will be held in schools. Over the next six weeks each school will be offered a visit to provide the vaccination for 12 to 15 year old students. Vaccination healthcare staff will ask for parental, guardian or carer consent before vaccination, in line with existing school vaccination programmes.

Parents, guardians and carers will receive a letter with the details of the vaccination sessions, the consent process, and next steps.

You can get the latest information on these vaccines on the Sussex Health and Care website.

New guidance from the autumn term

As COVID-19 restrictions ease, the government has revised the guidance for education settings. Schools are notifying families about their new arrangements, including Covid testing requirements.

Secondary school and college students are advised to take 2 on-site rapid COVID-19 tests (3 to 5 days apart) followed by twice weekly testing at home. 

Pre-school and primary aged children do not need to be regularly tested. 

Testing remains voluntary but regular testing will prevent unknowingly spreading the virus. Where possible, please support your child to take these tests.

If anyone tests positive or gets coronavirus symptoms, they should tell the school and:

Other COVID-19 measures include:

  • pupils and students identified as a close contact will not need to self-isolate
  • if a child or young person is identified as a close contact, they should take a PCR test and self-isolate if the result is positive
  • although it's no longer a legal requirement, wearing a face covering is expected and recommended for young people aged 11 and over on public transport and dedicated transport to school and college 

Early years and childcare

Early years settings including nurseries and childminders are open to all children.

Find government guidance about early years settings.

Family Information Service

The helpline is currently open Monday to Friday 10am to 2pm.

You can also send an email to

Children's Centres

Find information about Children’s Centres.

Wellbeing and mental health support

If you have any specific concerns about your child, please contact your school or early years setting directly.

If you are worried about your child’s mental health and wellbeing, we recommend you visit the YMCA DownsLink Group's online ‘e-wellbeing’ resource.

The council’s Schools Wellbeing Service has a consultation line for parents and carers who may be concerned about emotional wellbeing and mental health issues.

If you would like to speak to a mental health worker, please send an email to

If you have particular worries or concerns around special educational needs (SEN) issues, please speak to your school SENCo.

If parents can’t get hold of the school SENCo and their child has an EHC plan they can contact their SEN case worker.

Find more information about the support available for children who have SEND

The Brighton & Hove Inclusion Support Service (BHISS) is running an open email for parents and carers.

If you are concerned about your child’s development and emotional wellbeing, send an email to