Children, schools and education settings

Schools and early years settings

Bury schools are now working towards welcoming more children back into school and a phased, careful and progressive return of some pupils and students may be possible over the next few weeks. Following government guidance, schools are carrying out thorough risk assessments and producing action plans so that they can begin to move forward with the wider opening of education and childcare settings.

Since 23 March, in line with the scientific advice, nurseries, schools and colleges have remained open only to a priority group of children and young people, children who have a parent who is a critical worker and vulnerable children.

Now that progress has been made in reducing the transmission of coronavirus, the Government is encouraging all eligible children to attend settings (where there are no shielding concerns for the child or their household), even if parents are able to keep their children at home.

When will my child return to school?

The timing and organisation of pupil return will at the discretion of individual schools, based on their own robust risk assessments, supported by the Local Authority, and in consultation with parents, carers, unions and associations.

Many schools have undertaken surveys of parental opinion to gauge support for the return process. Heads are meeting regularly with Local Authority officers and key partners, in order to monitor the gradual extension of service offer to key groups of young people.

Your child(ren)'s school will share with you their principles for operating school safely, and their plans for re-opening to specific year groups. They will publish their risk assessments once these have been approved by Governors.

Please check with your child(ren)'s school for further information.

Children of key workers and those who are vulnerable

Children of critical workers, and vulnerable children who are already eligible, will continue to be offered a school place, regardless of the year group they are in.

Vulnerable children include children who are supported by social care, those with safeguarding and welfare needs, including child in need plans, on child protection plans, 'looked after' children, young carers, disabled children and those with education, health and care plans. 

The Council has arrangements in place to identify the children who most need support at this time and continues to work with schools to ensure a place continues to be available for those that require one.

What parents and carers need to know about schools and education during the coronavirus outbreak

The following link provides information for parents and carers about the wider opening of nurseries, schools and colleges, transport, attendance, free school meals and remote education.

Supporting your children's education during coronavirus (COVID-19)

For further information, guidance and support for parents and carers of children who are learning at home, including online education resources and targeted help for early years, primary and secondary age pupils.

School meal and food vouchers

The Department for Education has updated advice and guidance on school meals and the use of vouchers, and the options available to schools.

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

Whilst coronavirus is infectious to children it is rarely serious. If your child is unwell it is likely to be a non-coronavirus illness, rather than coronavirus itself.

Whilst it is extremely important to follow Government advice to stay at home during this period, it can be confusing to know what to do when your child is unwell or injured. Remember that NHS 111, GPs and hospitals are still providing the same safe care that they have always done. 

What to do if you child is unwell or injured

This downloadable poster provides some helpful advice:

More 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

Download the factsheet

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

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

Go to for advice on support children and young people's mental health and wellbeing