Re-opening schools after COVID-19

Re-opening schools after coronavirus

What school re-opening means for your child

After a long period of partial school closure, the government has announced that schools may open from Monday 1 June in reception, year 1 and year 6.

You should check with your school about its plans for re-opening.

As a concerned parent or carer, you will probably have many questions about school re-opening and what this means for your child.

The health and wellbeing of pupils and staff is top priority for all schools, but it is not possible for any school to promise that your child will not catch COVID-19.

Schools will, however, do all they can to minimise that risk. We hope you find this guide useful in answering some of your questions.


Schools are:

  • carrying out a full risk assessment to make sure we can keep everyone as safe as possible
  • thoroughly cleaning the schools
  • preparing signage to help maintain social distancing around school sites

You can:

  • make sure your child goes to bed early and wakes up in time to get ready for school

Personal hygiene

Looking after personal hygiene is essential to stop the virus spreading.

Everyone will be expected to:

  • wash their hands with soap and water, for 20 seconds at a time
  • wash their hands at regular intervals throughout the day
  • catch sneezes with tissues or an elbow, and put used tissues straight into the bin

You can:

  • explain to your child that teachers will want them to wash their hands 5 or 6 times a day when they are at school
  • make sure your child knows how to blow and wipe their nose and to put the tissue in the bin
  • show them how to cough into their elbow if they need to but don't have a tissue to hand
  • measure out 2 metres and show your child what the looks like to help them with social distancing and staying safe

School staffing

There may be less adults in schools. This means that:

  • children may not be taught by their usual class teacher
  • children may be taught by a teaching assistant
  • it may not be possible for schools to accommodate all reception, year 1 and year 6 children, each day, if there are not enough adults
  • children may need to be taught at another school


Classrooms will look very different when schools re-open. Here's how:

  • children will sit individually at tables
  • tables will be spaced apart to stop germs spreading
  • class groups will be no bigger that 15 children and often there will be less, if classrooms are small

You can

  • explain that their class will be very different to before lockdown

The school day

The school day will possibly be different to usual. Here's how:

  • there may be staggered start and finish times to the day to avoid large gatherings of people
  • school days may be shortened to enable more time for cleaners to prepare the site for the next day
  • groups will not mix at all during the day – this includes lunch and playtimes
  • everything will take longer than usual and your child may have to wait in line for lunch, or to be picked up to go home
  • your child may have to follow a one-way system in school, so they will need to follow instructions carefully to keep themselves and others safe

You can explain to your child that they:

  • will not be able to touch, hug or play close to other children
  • may not be able to play on equipment or with some toys until they can be cleaned
  • will need to be patient and take turns


Lessons may be different when schools reopen. Here's how:

  • children will be expected to work much more independently and close interaction with others will not be possible during lessons
  • a greater emphasis will be placed on pupils’ health and wellbeing
  • a reduced curriculum offer could be in place

You can:

  • encourage your child to 'have a go' with their work and don't worry if they are finding something difficult
  • explain to them that they can still ask for help, but explain that teachers and staff will have to give this from a distance