Children, schools and education settings

Last updated: Friday 5 March 2021

Spring and summer term 2021

In line with the government's roadmap out of lockdown primary and secondary schools reopen for face to face learning for all pupils from 8 March. Primary school pupils classed as clinically extremely vulnerable are exempt from return.

Additional measures have been put in place:

  • All high school pupils will be offered three lateral flow tests in school during the first two weeks back. After the first two weeks students will be asked to test themselves at home.
  • If a positive result is recorded the student will need to self-isolate and get a PCR test.
  • Secondary school and college students and staff should wear face coverings in communal areas, where social distancing cannot be maintained.
  • In primary schools adults should wear face coverings in communal areas where social distancing is not possible. Primary school children do not need to wear face coverings.

The covid safety measures already in place and familiar to students and parents from the autumn will also be maintained, including:

  • 'Bubbles' to minimise contact and transmission.
  • Social distancing in areas where it is possible to do so.
  • Enhanced cleaning regimes including more frequent cleaning of surfaces.
  • Stringent hand washing is actively encouraged particularly in primary schools.
  • Twice weekly testing for all school and college staff.

If your child attends school, and your school informs you that there has been a positive case in school and your child is a close contact of the case then your child must self-isolate for 14 days. This means that they must not leave home. If they develop any of the three main symptoms of COVID-19 then you should arrange for them to be tested and inform school of the outcome. If your child is symptom-free then they can return to school after the isolation period. 

Attending school - questions and answers

Government guidance

The government has provided information for parents and carers about early years providers, schools and colleges during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Face coverings in education

The Department for Education has issued guidance on the use of face coverings for schools and other education institutions that teach people in Years 7 and above in England.

Travel to school and college

Transport for Greater Manchester have issued information and safe travel advice for attending school and college.

Further guidance

The government has provided guidance for parents and carers of children attending community activities, holiday or after-school clubs, tuition and other out-of-school settings.

This guidance covers changes to after-school clubs, holiday clubs, tuition, community activities and other out-of-school settings for children and young people over the age of 5 during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Department for Education Coronavirus helpline

There is a helpline to answer questions about Coronavirus (COVID-19) related to education. Staff, parents and young people can contact the helpline as follows.

Phone: 0800 046 8687,

Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday).

Advice and resources from The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health has published advice and resources for parents and carers during the coronavirus outbreak are available at The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health website. 

Coronavirus fact sheet and animation for children

The coronavirus fact sheet and animation is for children to help them understand what Coronavirus is, the importance of hand washing and how to help stop the virus spreading. These were developed by the Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust. A downloadable fact sheet is also available at the end of this page.  They have also made an animation to go with it.

View the animation

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watch on youtube

Download the factsheet

Government guidance on supporting children and young people's mental health and wellbeing

There's lots of support and advice available in Greater Manchester to support children, young people and their families.

Resources, ideas and links to help with anxiety, keeping active and wellbeing from NHS organisations in Greater Manchester, local charities and support organisations.

Kooth is an online platform that provides mental health support for children and young people.

Shout is there for anyone who is struggling to cope. You can send a text at any time to 85258 or find more information on their website.

Advice for parents and carers on looking after the mental health and wellbeing of children or young people during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.