Back to school safely – what you need to know

People, Health and Care
11:11, Thursday, 26th August 2021

Many Covid-19 rules are set to be relaxed when children return to school after the summer holidays in a couple of weeks’ time.

A “more-normal” learning environment is expected though schools will continue to work with public health teams to monitor and, if necessary, contain any outbreaks of Covid-19.

Some measures will remain, though schools will no longer keep pupils in bubbles and under 18s will not have to self-isolate if they have been a contact of a positive case – they will be asked to take a PCR test and isolate if positive, however.

Face coverings are not recommended in schools but pupils using home to school transport are being asked to wear them.

Tessa Lindfield, North Lincolnshire’s Director of Public Health, said: “School leaders and their staff have done an excellent job of keeping their pupils safe during the pandemic.

“Even with all the hard work many pupils missed out on face-to-face learning, and we now need to get back to a more stable situation.

“Attendance figures in North Lincolnshire in the summer term were higher than in many areas, though we still had disruption with many pupils having to self-isolate and work remotely.

“Relaxing the guidelines will mean that self-isolation will not be a significant cause of absence – it is a national priority that education and childcare get back to operating as normal as possible.”

Secondary pupils will be tested twice at the start of the term and expected to test themselves twice weekly at home. This will be reviewed at the end of September.

Pupils aged between 12 and 15 with underlying health conditions, or those with household contacts that have weakened immune systems will be offered a vaccine.

It comes as the rate of infection remains stubbornly high across the area, and hospital admissions remain of concern.

Tessa added: “Working with schools, we will continue to monitor the situation and only bring in extra safety measures if absolutely necessary – for example if high numbers of pupils or staff at a school test positive.

“I am sure that pupils and their families will welcome getting back to a more normal way of learning.”