Schools - COVID-19

Schools – COVID-19

Testing

From Monday 21 February, the government removed the guidance for staff and students in most education and childcare settings to undertake twice-weekly asymptomatic testing. Staff and students of secondary age and above in special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) schools, alternative provision settings, and SEND units within mainstream schools or equivalent in further education colleges are advised to continue twice-weekly testing.

Self-isolation

From 24 February, the government removed the legal requirement to self-isolate following a positive test. However, the government outlines that children, young people and staff with COVID-19 should not attend their education setting while they are infectious.

They may take a lateral flow test from 5 days after their symptoms started (or the day their test was taken if they did not have symptoms) followed by another 1 the next day (24 hours apart). If both these test results are negative, they should return to their educational setting, as long as they feel well enough to do so and do not have a temperature. If no negative test results are received prior to day 10 then self-isolation finishes at midnight on day 10.

From 24 February, fully vaccinated close contacts and those under the age of 18 (including siblings) are no longer required to test daily for 7 days. The legal requirement for close contacts who are not fully vaccinated to self-isolate has also been removed.

Vaccinations

Our public health team recommends that all school staff and eligible pupils take up the offer of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Face coverings

In January, the Director of Public Health advised that all education staff and pupils in year 7 and above continue to adopt a policy of wearing face coverings in communal areas (including on school transport). This advice will be reviewed by the Director of Public Health but remains in place until Friday, 11 March 2022. The Director of Public Health is no longer advising staff and pupils in year 7 and above to wear face coverings in communal areas or on school transport. However, this will continue to be reviewed and guidance may change depending on the level of infections.

Bubbles

The Department for Education (DfE) no longer requires pupils to be grouped in bubbles. However, this may be reviewed with our public health team should there be an outbreak in a school.