Remote education if your child cannot attend school
From the end of the summer term, all state-funded schools should provide remote education for school-aged children who are unable to attend school due to following government guidance or law relating to COVID-19 (for example if they need to self-isolate, or if they have tested positive but are well enough to learn from home).
Independent schools with pupils whose education is provided wholly through public funds also need to provide remote education in these circumstances.
Schools should provide remote education equivalent in length to the core teaching your child would usually get in school.
You can find out about your school’s remote education offer on their website or by contacting your child’s school directly.
Guidance is available to help you support your child while they are learning from home.
You should talk to your child’s teacher or headteacher if you have concerns about the amount or quality of the remote education they are receiving. If you have exhausted the school’s complaints process and you still have concerns, you can raise them with Ofsted. Ofsted will consider the complaint and act where appropriate.
Schools should work collaboratively with you to put in place reasonable adjustments so that pupils with SEND can successfully access remote education.
Mixing and ‘bubbles’
We no longer recommend that it is necessary to keep children in consistent groups (‘bubbles’) or to keep groups apart as much as possible. This means that bubbles will not need to be used for any summer provision (for example, summer schools) or in settings from the autumn term.
This means that assemblies and larger group activities can resume.
If there is an outbreak in your nursery, school, or college, or if your nursery, school, or college is in an enhanced response area, you might be advised that it is necessary to reintroduce bubbles or to keep groups apart for a temporary period to reduce mixing between groups.
We would encourage you to follow any requests from your individual nursery, school or college.
Tracing and self-isolation
Nurseries, schools and colleges only need to trace close contacts up to and including 18 July. From 19 July, as with positive cases in any other setting, NHS Test and Trace will work with the positive case and/or their parents to identify close contacts. This is likely to be a small number of individuals who would be most at risk of contracting COVID-19 due to the nature of the close contact. As parents or carers, you may be contacted to help with identifying close contacts.
Individuals are not required to self-isolate if they live in the same household as someone with COVID-19, or are a close contact of someone with COVID-19, and any of the following apply:
they are fully vaccinated
they are below the age of 18 years and 6 months
they have taken part in or are currently part of an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial
they are not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons
Instead, NHS Test and Trace will inform affected individuals, children or their parents or carers that they have been in close contact with a positive case, and advise them to take a PCR test. We would encourage all individuals to take a PCR test if advised to do so.
Children and young people aged under 18 years 6 months who usually attend school who have been identified as a close contact should continue to attend school as normal. They do not need to wear a face covering within the school, but it is expected and recommended that these are worn when travelling on public or dedicated transport. Further information is available in the stay at home: guidance for households.
18-year-olds will be treated in the same way as children until 6 months after their 18th birthday, to allow them the opportunity to get fully vaccinated. At which point, they will be subject to the same rules as adults and so if they choose not to get vaccinated, they will need to self-isolate if identified as a close contact.
If there is a substantial increase in the number of positive cases in your nursery, school, or college, or if your nursery, school, or college is in an enhanced response area, you might be advised that some control measures need to be temporarily reintroduced.
Symptoms and testing
Testing remains important in reducing the risk of transmission of infection within nurseries, schools and colleges. Continuing to take regular rapid tests will help you to identify infections early and reduce transmission.
Over the summer, staff, secondary pupils and college students should continue to test regularly if they are attending settings that remain open, such as summer schools and out of school activities based in school settings. Schools and colleges will only provide tests for twice weekly asymptomatic testing for pupils and staff over the summer period if they are attending school or college.
However, testing will still be widely available over the summer and kits can be collected either from your local pharmacy or ordered online.
As your child will potentially mix with lots of other people during the summer holidays, all secondary school pupils and college students should receive 2 on-site lateral flow device tests, 3 to 5 days apart, on their return in the autumn term.
Your school or college may commence testing from 3 working days before the start of term and can stagger your child’s return across the first week to manage this. Your child should then continue to test twice weekly at home until the end of September, when this will be reviewed.
Secondary schools and colleges should also retain a small on-site testing facility until further notice in case your child is unable to test themselves at home.
There is no need for primary age pupils (those in year 6 and below) to test over the summer period. They will be offered the 2 tests at the beginning of the autumn term when they start at their secondary school as a new year 7. Schools may choose, however, to start testing year 6 pupils earlier, including in summer schools, depending on their local circumstances.
We recognise that there will be a wide range of challenges in delivering effective testing to children with SEND. We have developed specific guidance for testing in specialist settings to fully consider their needs and the flexibilities which may be required.
Positive rapid lateral flow test results
Anyone with a positive test result will need to:
self-isolate in line with the stay at home guidance (if they test positive at school, you should arrange for them to be collected)
book a further test (a lab-based polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test) to confirm the result, whether the test was done at home, school or college
Whilst awaiting the PCR result, the individual should continue to self-isolate.
If the PCR test is taken within the 2 days following the positive LFD result, and is negative, it overrides the self-test LFD test and your child can return to nursery, childminders, school or college, as long as they don’t have COVID-19 symptoms.
If you have any questions about the asymptomatic testing programme, speak to your school or college.
Nurseries, schools and colleges only need to trace close contacts up to and including 18 July. From 19 July, as with positive cases in any other setting, NHS Test and Trace will work with the positive case to identify close contacts. This is likely to be a small number of individuals who would be most at risk of contracting COVID-19 due to the nature of the close contact.
If you suspect your child has coronavirus or has a positive test
Do not send your child to their nursery, childminder, school, college or to an entry test for a selective school if:
You should follow public health advice on when to self-isolate and what to do.
If you insist on your child attending nursery, school, or college when they have symptoms, they can take the decision to refuse your child if, in their reasonable judgement, it is necessary to protect other pupils and staff from possible infection with COVID-19. Their decision would need to be carefully considered in light of all the circumstances and current public health advice.