The following message has been sent to all schools and early years providers to send to families as soon as possible. It's from Alistair Hill, the council's Director of Public Health.
Dear Parents and Carers,
Firstly, I want to thank you and your children and young people for following the government guidance about COVID-19.
I know this continues to be a very difficult time for families. All the changes you have made to your daily life because of COVID-19 really do make a difference.
Getting back to childcare, school and college is really important for our children and young people’s learning, social skills and wellbeing.
As the new term starts it is vital that we work together to ensure our children and young people get back to – and remain in – childcare, school and college.
Childcare providers, schools, colleges and the council have worked hard to prepare for a safe re-opening. Plans are in place to respond effectively to any COVID-19 cases.
By continuing to follow government COVID-19 guidance, you and your children will contribute to the safe delivery of their childcare and education.
Reducing COVID-19 infection
Please continue to follow the government guidance for households and minimise you and your child’s contact with other households.
Social distancing and excellent hygiene must always be maintained when visiting other households. Staying overnight (including sleepovers) and indoor gatherings (including children’s parties) are not allowed for groups of more than two households.
Please talk to your child or young person about the importance of not gathering in groups of more than six outdoors and maintaining distancing. You can find more information at www.gov.uk/guidance/meeting-people-from-outside-your-household-from-4-july
Handwashing is still very important. Your child will be asked to wash hands more frequently when at nursery, school or college.
Please also ensure this is always the first thing you and your children do when you arrive home. You can find information at www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/best-way-to-wash-your-hands
COVID-19 symptoms and what steps to take
Here’s some important information about COVID-19 symptoms: www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/symptoms
Do not send your child to nursery, childminder, school or college if they are showing any symptoms of COVID-19 – or if someone in their household is showing symptoms.
Arrange a test if you or your child develops symptoms: www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing-and-tracing/
It’s important that you tell your nursery, childminder, school or college the results.
If the test is positive, follow the government’s stay at home guidance: www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance
It is also very important that you engage with the NHS Test and Trace service, so that they can help identify who you have been in contact with.
For further information about this, please visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing-and-tracing/nhs-test-and-trace-if-youre-contacted-after-testing-positive-for-coronavirus/
Travelling to and from nursery, school and college
Wherever possible please help your child to travel on foot or by bike.
If your child needs to travel to school by bus and is 11 years or over, they have to wear a mask – unless they are exempt. Full information at www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own
The council has worked with schools and Brighton & Hove Buses to deliver more bus capacity. Please contact your school for more information.
Please avoid travelling in cars with other households where possible. If you have to travel with people outside your household group, try to share the transport with the same people each time. Keep the windows open, keep some distance wherever possible and clean the vehicle in between journeys.
More information and help
Schools will look and feel a bit different when they reopen. You and your children may find this a bit daunting.
For information and support around your child’s mental health and emotional wellbeing, please see the following back to school E-Wellbeing webpages at www.ymcadlg.org/blog/back-to-school-e-wellbeing.
Young people can find out about and access services themselves on these pages.
For information and support around your own mental health and emotional wellbeing, contact your GP in the first instance. You can also find out more information about the Brighton & Hove Wellbeing Service at www.brightonandhovewellbeing.org.
There is lots of further information about COVID-19 on the government’s website at www.gov.uk.
For more information about all aspects of the local COVID-19 response, including advice and support around financial issues, please see the council’s COVID-19 webpages at www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/covid-19.
If you have any questions about your child’s return to childcare or education please contact your childcare provider, school or college.
Many thanks for taking the time to read this letter and I hope your child or young person enjoys the new term.