Safety of schools reopening to all children

The government has said children and young people in all year groups should return to school full-time.

Lockdown and school closures were necessary earlier this year to help tackle COVID-19 (Coronavirus). Millions of children across the country were badly affected by it.

It is recognised that no public environment is 100% safe from COVID-19, whether it be a shop or school. But schools have worked hard to ensure effective infection control measures are in place.

The government, Public Health England and the council all agree that reopening schools is very important.

It’s not just about the learning. It’s also about our children’s mental health and wellbeing – seeing friends, getting back to normal routines and having the chance to build their futures.

Our schools, colleges, nurseries and childminders have put in place a range of protective measures to help reduce the risks posed by COVID-19.

If you have concerns about your child going back to school please speak to your school in the first instance.

Return to schools, nurseries and families.

What happens if someone in your child’s school class displays symptoms or tests positive

When a child, young person or staff member of a school develops Coronavirus symptoms, they will be sent home and advised to self-isolate and arrange to have a test to see if they have COVID-19. Their household members should also self-isolate.

Where the child, young person or staff member tests negative, they can return to their setting if they're well and household members can end their self-isolation.

Where the child, young person or staff member tests positive for COVID-19 they must now self-isolate for 10 days. Public Health England will advise the setting on identifying contacts. These contacts will need to self-isolate for 14 days.

Return to schools, nurseries and families.

Who you can talk to and what support is available if you and your child are worried about COVID-19 and going back to school

Please talk to your school in the first instance. You can find out what support is available in our newsroom article, 'It's nearly time to go back to school!' 

Return to schools, nurseries and families.

What to do if you’ve been on holiday abroad

If you're returning from holiday from an affected country please follow government guidance.

The list of affected countries changes frequently. So please check before and after you travel. If you've come back from an affected country you will need to: 

  • self-isolate for 14 days on return
  • not have any visitors - even family or friends
  • get tested if you develop symptoms

You only need to get tested if you have symptoms. The most important action for people to take is to self-isolate and not go out if you have been to an affected area or have symptoms. We need everyone to follow the guidance to protect others.

Return to schools, nurseries and families.

What to do if your family is at increased risk from COVID-19

This could be for reasons like medical conditions or being from a BAME background.

All our childcare, nursery, school and college settings are following strict guidelines on keeping pupils and staff safe. Please speak to your school in the first instance if you have any concerns.

Additional support is available from the council’s Ethnic Minority Achievement Service (EMAS) if you need help to understand the situation and how it affects you and your family.

Return to schools, nurseries and families.

My child has a medical condition – do they still have to go back to school?

The government has said children and young people in all year groups should return to school full-time.

If you are worried about your child going back to school because they have an existing medical condition that could be made more harmful by being infected by COVID-19, please speak to your child’s GP in the first instance.

If the doctor says your child should not attend school please pass your doctor’s note on to your school as soon as possible.

Return to schools, nurseries and families.

Face coverings in schools

Government guidance says face coverings are not required in primary schools.

The guidance also gives secondary school headteachers the power to require pupils to wear face coverings in certain areas of their schools. If your child is at secondary school please check with your school about its requirements.

Return to schools, nurseries and families.

What schools are doing to combat bullying related to face coverings

All our schools are committed to tackling bullying of any kind and have policies in place to deal with it.

If your child has a medical reason for not wearing a face covering and you're worried they might be bullied by other children for not wearing one, you can find information about how our schools are committed to tackling bullying.

Our schools are aware of this as a potential issue. If you have any concerns about this please speak to your school in the first instance.

Return to schools, nurseries and families.

Reopening schools and how it relates to other restrictions

Other restrictions are not being eased off. The reopening of schools is part of a national plan to reopen businesses and public facilities very gradually.

More than ever, everyone needs to continue to be careful and stay vigilant about vital anti-COVID-19 measures like hand washing and physical distancing.

Helping to prevent infection in your family and community will help keep our childcare and education settings open.

You should also continue to check national guidance before organising birthday parties or any other family or social gatherings.

Return to schools, nurseries and families.

Changes to school transport arrangements

Will there be any changes to my child’s school transport arrangements?

The government is encouraging as many people as possible to walk or cycle to school. This is to help minimise the spread of the virus, and ease pressure on our public transport services. It’s also very good for children’s health and wellbeing.

Brighton & Hove Bus Company has laid on some extra ‘children only’ services to help children get to and from school as safely as possible. Find more school travel information.

The council has done a great deal of work with local groups AMAZE and PaCC to make sure appropriate home to school transport is available for children with SEND.

If you have any questions, please contact our home to school transport team. You can send an email to HometoSchoolTransport@brighton-hove.gov.uk or phone 01273 293 501.

Return to schools, nurseries and families.

What happens if you keep your child off school because of COVID-19 worries

The government has said children and young people in all year groups should return to school full-time from the beginning of the autumn term.

National guidance says that where children and young people have found lockdown exceptionally difficult, then their school or college may suggest a brief phased return.

This will only be if it suits the needs of your child, and if it is agreed with you in advance.

No parent will be penalised for following official public health advice for their child not to attend a given session.

If you have concerns about your child returning to school or college because you think they may have other risk factors, you should discuss these with your school or college.

Schools can issue sanctions, including fixed penalty notices, in line with the council’s codes of conduct.

We will work to support schools, pupils and families to return to fully reopened schools.

Return to schools, nurseries and families.

What will happen with school uniforms when children return to school

Not all schools in Brighton & Hove have a school uniform.

Schools have not been asked by the government to change their uniform policies as a result of COVID-19.

Return to schools, nurseries and families.

More information

Every school has different size buildings, different size rooms and different pupil numbers. This means they have all made slightly different arrangements for reopening.

Further questions

The answers to these and many other queries will vary from school to school. So please contact your school in the first instance for further information:

  • Will the children still be kept in bubbles or smaller class sizes?
  • Are the children being kept to one classroom all day?
  • What’s happening to make sure lunch arrangements (eating and playtime) are safe for children?
  • Will there still be any on-site school meal provision?
  • How important is it for me to ensure my child has their own water flask?
  • Will my child take part in PE? 
  • Are any breakfast clubs / after school clubs running?

Return to schools, nurseries and families

More information about NHS Test and Trace.