Coronavirus: Local restrictions

Coronavirus rates in Oldham remain high. Additional restrictions are now in force. Do not socialise with anyone who does not live in your house, avoid using public transport, wear a face covering.

Coronavirus: Information and advice

1. Help and advice for returning to school

From September 2020 all children must return to school.

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.

Therefore, from the beginning of September school attendance is mandatory. The usual rules on compulsory school attendance are being re-applied.

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

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.

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.

Does my child need to return to school?

If your child does not fall into the categories discussed above, then your child must return to school from September 2020. 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 will look like.

If rates of the disease rise in local areas, children (or family members) from that area, may have restrictions put in place and maybe advised to shield during this period. Therefore, they may be temporarily absent from school.

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

Please be re-assured that schools, the Inclusion Team and a host of other professionals within Children’s Services will be 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.

Home education

If your child normally receives their education from a school at which they are a registered pupil, then they must resume this education through attendance at the school with effect from September 2020.

Should you wish to continue to educate your child at home beyond this time 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 can I do to help my child return to school?

We do appreciate that many parents may be worried about their child 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 will look like to re-assure yourself and your child.

If you are worried about your child’s behaviour, please contact your child’s school for additional support.

The school will work with you to develop a plan to re-engage your child and re-establish routines to help your child settle back into school life.

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

Attendance at school is compulsory from September 2020 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.

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.