Schools - coronavirus
Schools have been advised by the Director of Public Health for Central Bedfordshire that pupils in years 7 and above, and all staff working with those pupils, should continue to wear face coverings in classrooms and communal areas until the end of term to help to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 in Central Bedfordshire. Schools have also been advised to continue to participate in regular LFD testing, that close contacts of any positive cases should self-isolate and take a PCR test, and have been reminded of the importance of good ventilation.
Get a rapid test (Lateral Flow Device test)
Your child’s school will provide testing kits for them to use at home. You do not need to do anything to receive these test kits, the school will give them to your child to bring home and instructions on how to complete the test will be provided.
Primary-age school children will not be asked to take part in the asymptomatic rapid testing programme at this time, though you should still get a standard (PCR) test kit if they have coronavirus symptoms.
All school and college staff will be able to take part in their setting’s testing programme, this includes adults working in the wider school community, including bus drivers and after school club leaders.
You can now get a twice-weekly rapid test for coronavirus if you a member of a household with primary school, secondary school and college age children, or if you’re in a childcare bubble or support bubble with school staff or pupils.
Your child’s school or college will not be able to give you a rapid test kit. Instead, if you are eligible, you can now access test kits:
- via your employer, if they offer testing to employees (contact them to find out)
- at one of our 3 local test sites which are open 8am until 8pm
- by collecting a home test kit from a test site
- by ordering a home test kit online
Lateral Flow Device (LFD) or rapid tests can provide results usually within 30 minutes. With around one in three people who have coronavirus showing no symptoms, this testing is vital to help identify more people who have COVID-19 and help to reduce the spread of the virus, as they will know to self-isolate.
In Central Bedfordshire, the Director of Public Health is advising all schools and colleges in our area to put in place additional temporary measures to reduce transmission and keep educational disruption as low as possible.
A letter has been sent to all parents and carers outlining the following advised additional temporary measures, which include face coverings for:
- all staff and visitors (including parents and carers) in all communal areas outside the classroom
- young people in year 7 and above (year 5 and above in middle schools) in all communal areas outside the classroom, and on school and public transport
It may be necessary to keep these measures in place until the end of term, but the Director of Public Health will update schools if anything changes.
From November, schools have been advised by the Director of Public Health for Central Bedfordshire that pupils in years 7 and above, and all staff working with those pupils, should continue to wear face coverings in classrooms and communal areas until the end of term to help to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 in Central Bedfordshire. Schools have also been advised to continue to participate in regular LFD testing, that close contacts of any positive cases should self-isolate and take a PCR test, and have been reminded of the importance of good ventilation.
Changes to the Test and Trace support payment for parents
The Department for Education has announced that parents and carers of children, who have been advised to self-isolate by their education setting or by NHS Test and Trace, are now able to apply for a Test and Trace Support Payment, or a discretionary payment of £500, if they meet the eligibility criteria.
The extension of the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme ensures that parents receive the financial support they need if they are unable to attend work due to childcare responsibilities.
If you are a parent or carer, apply here in order to receive a payment.
When to get a test
Your child should get a COVID-19 test if they have any of the following main symptoms:
- new, continuous cough
- high fever or temperature
- loss or change of taste or smell
COVID-19 tests are only for those people displaying one or more of the main symptoms.
How to get a test
If your child has any of these symptoms, then they should:
- get a test as soon as possible, to check if they have coronavirus
- follow the government's guidance to stay at home and do not have visitors until you get the test result (only leave your home to have a test); anyone you live with, and anyone in your support bubble, must also stay at home until you get your result
- tell the school
For most people, COVID-19 will be a mild illness, but it’s important to follow this guidance to help stop the spread.
Don't call 111
Don't call 111 if you need a test. Find out how to get a test.
111 should be used for those who need urgent medical advice. It cannot be used to arrange coronavirus testing.
Test availability is refreshed throughout the day, if tests are not available near you, please try again later.
School admission appeals
Find out how school admission appeals are affected, in light of government advice.
Advice for parents and carers
You may have many questions about everything that is happening at the moment. We have put together a page of useful resources that can help you find information and advice on topics such as childcare, health and wellbeing, critical workers, school opening and transport, family information and more.