Coronavirus: Local restrictions

There is now a 3-tier set of Local COVID alert levels for England – Medium, High and Very High. Oldham is currently an area where the local COVID alert level is very high.

Coronavirus: Information and advice

1. Coronavirus: Schools

The Inclusion Team and schools will be working with families to secure regular school attendance to help pupils catch up on missed education, make progress and promote their wellbeing and wider development.

School attendance is mandatory. The usual rules on compulsory school attendance have been re-applied since the start of September.

There are likely to be questions that you may have about your children being at school, so please refer to the list below which addresses some of these:

What to do if your child has symptoms of coronavirus or has had a positive test

Your child should not come into school if they or someone in their household have coronavirus symptoms, or have tested positive in the last 10 days.

In line with public health advice, your child should self-isolate for 10 days if they have symptoms or a positive test result, and 14 days if they are a close contact of someone who has coronavirus.

Other members of the household (including any siblings) must also self-isolate for 14 days from when the symptomatic person first had symptoms.

Self-isolation

If your child has been asked to self-isolate because their school ‘bubble’ has a positive case they need to do so for 14 days. This means they should stay inside and do any work set for them by their school.

We would ask that they are not allowed to play out during this time.

We know this places a strain on many families.

The Government has indicated that grandparents or neighbours can carry out childcare for short periods of time to lessen the burden.

Shielding

Shielding advice for all adults and children was paused on 1 August.

This means that even the small number of pupils who will remain on the shielded patient list can also return to school, as can those who have family members who are shielding.

You may wish to contact the school directly, or visit the school website, for more information on what safety measures will look like to re-assure yourself and your child.

If your child is unable to attend school because they are complying with clinical or public health advice, the school will be expected to immediately offer your child access to remote education.

Engagement with this activity will be monitored by the school.

Where a child is not able to attend school because parents are following clinical or public health advice, absence will not be penalised.

School attendance

If your child does not fall into the categories discussed above, then your child must be in school.

We appreciate that parents may be worried about their children returning to school, and your child may also be nervous about changes to the school routine and layout.

The school will have put robust safety measures in place to keep your child safe and reduce the risk in school.

You may wish to contact the school directly or visit the school website for more information on what these safety measures look like.

We are mindful that many pupils, parents and households may be reluctant or anxious about being at school.

Please be re-assured that schools, the Inclusion Team and a host of other professionals within Children’s Services are on hand to put the right support in place to address your anxieties.

Contact us for any additional support or advice if you feel this may be required. We will work with you to develop a plan to re-engage your child back into the classroom.

Dropping your child off at school

We are asking parents and carers to follow some simple steps:

  • Please drop off your child at the place suggested by your school and, wherever possible, by one adult only
  • If your child is over five please do not enter the school building yourself if at all possible
  • Remember hand washing is really important so wash your hands before you leave home and when you return
  • Please don’t come to school/early years setting if you have symptoms of coronavirus or your household does but follow advice to isolate and order a test
  • Remember to keep socially distant wherever you can, in your street, in your workplaces, in the shops, in the playground

For more information please contact your child’s school.

Home education

Should you wish to continue to educate your child at home then you will need to make a more formal Elective Home Education decision.

Your child’s education will become solely your responsibility from this point and the child will then cease to be a registered pupil at the school.

To enable you to make an informed decision about Elective Home Education please email: ehe@oldham.gov.uk

What will happen if my child does not go to school?

Attendance at school is compulsory and punitive action may be taken against you the parent, (which may include fines) if your child is not receiving a suitable education, either at school or otherwise.

If there are issues please contact your child’s school and discuss them.

Looking after your child's mental health

Advice available:

Other online resources

  • Charlie Waller Memorial Trust - Free resources for schools and families about emotional about mental and emotional wellbeing
  • kooth.com - Free, safe and anonymous online support for young people
  • Headspace.com - Free online support for mindfulness and meditation

The information in this document is based on Government Guidance, which is subject to change. It will be revised as new advice is published, but please contact sais@oldham.gov.uk if you have any further queries.