On 21 February, the Prime Minister set out the next phase of the government’s COVID-19 response.
COVID-19 continues to be a virus that we learn to live with and the imperative to reduce the disruption to children and young people’s education remains.
Our priority is for schools, colleges, childminders and nurseries to deliver face-to-face, high-quality education and care to all children and young people. The evidence is clear that being out of education causes significant harm to educational attainment, life chances, as well as mental and physical health.
We have worked closely with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and the United Kingdom Health Security Agency (UKHSA) to revise this guidance.
The main messages from this guidance are:
- nationally, education and childcare settings are open, and attendance is mandatory (for schools) and strongly encouraged (at childminders, nurseries and colleges)
- the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health has made it clear that the overwhelming majority of children and young people still have no symptoms or very mild illness only
- removing the advice on bubbles and mixing
- update to Tracing close contacts and isolation section to clarify that from 24 February, the guidance in this document will be replaced by UKHSA guidance
- update to the Testing section to reflect that from 21 February, twice weekly testing in mainstream schools will no longer be advised
- if the number of positive cases substantially increases in your nursery, school, or college, or if your nursery, school, or college is in an enhanced response area, you might be advised that additional measures should be introduced
- all children aged 12 and over are now eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations
- children and young people previously considered CEV should attend school and should follow the same COVID-19 guidance as the rest of the population
- face coverings are no longer advised for pupils, staff and visitors in classrooms and communal areas
- updated advice for if an individual develops COVID-19 symptoms or has a positive test while attending boarding school
- update that education recovery programmes will continue to be delivered
To read the full guidance, please follow this link:
What parents and carers need to know about early years providers, schools and colleges - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)