A national lockdown is in place across England.
For information about the rules, any disruptions to Council services and the support available for our residents and businesses visit www.stockton.gov.uk/coronavirus
All schools across Stockton-on-Tees are open and have completed a COVID-19 specific risk assessment to make sure children, school staff and their families are as safe as possible.
For details of full school closures visit our school closures page.
Is it safe for my child to attend school?
Every school has robust safety measures in place including:
- Children learning, as well as spending break and lunchtimes, in a “bubble”. The “bubble” may be a full class or year group depending on how many children there are. Breakfast and after school clubs are also working in this way. Where possible, both staff and children follow social distancing guidelines.
- Schools are cleaned regularly and thoroughly throughout the day.
- Every child and member of staff wash or sanitise their hands as soon as they come into school and this continues throughout the day.
- Classrooms are well ventilated.
- Every child is supplied with their own pencils, books and so on, which stay at school and are not be shared with other children.
- Resources that are shared between “bubbles”, such as sports, art and science equipment are cleaned frequently and not passed to other “bubbles” for three days.
- So that social distancing is possible at drop-off and home time most schools have staggered arrangements in place. This means different “bubbles” start and finish school at different times and use different doors in and out of school.
- Usually children won’t need to get changed for PE.
- The number of visitors to schools is being minimised and any visitors who do attend will follow the hand washing and social distancing guidance.
But my child has a medical condition, is it safe for them to go to school?
Shielding advice for all adults and children paused on 1 August. This means that even the small number of pupils who are still on the shielded patient list and those who have family members who are shielding can return to school.
Getting to and from school
To help keep everyone safe, children and their families are being asked to keep two metres away from anyone who isn’t in their household at drop-off and pick-up times. It is also important to carefully follow each school’s instructions for drop-off and pick-up times.
If it is possible, families should walk or cycle to school but if a car journey is the only option neither children or their parents/carers should travel with anyone outside their household.
Guidelines are also in place to make sure children who travel to school using the Council’s Home-to-School Transport service can do so safely.
It is best not to use public transport if you can avoid it but if this isn’t possible make sure you are following the latest public transport guidance which includes asking anyone over 11 years old to wear a face covering.
Does my child have to wear a face covering?
Children who go to secondary school may be asked to wear a face covering when they are indoor in a communal area and children over 11 years old are encouraged to wear a face covering on school buses and public transport.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
The main symptoms of COVID-19 are:
- A high temperature
- A new and continuous cough (coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours)
- A loss of, or change in, normal sense of taste and smell.
The information below explains what will happen if a child or member of staff displays symptoms of COVID-19. The Government has also produced this “at a glance” guide.
What happens if a child has symptoms of COVID-19 at school?
Any children showing symptoms will be:
- Taken to a space away from other children and looked after by a member of staff.
- School will contact the child’s parent/carer straight away to arrange for them to be collected as soon as possible.
- The child will then need to self-isolate for ten days and their parent/carer will need to arrange for them to have a COVID-19 test. You can do this by calling 119 or going to the NHS website.
- The rest of the child’s household will need to self-isolate for 14 days.
What happens if a member of staff has symptoms of COVID-19 at school?
Any staff member showing symptoms will:
- Go home immediately
- Arrange to have a COVID-19 test
- Self-isolate for ten days.
What happens if it is confirmed that a child or member of staff has COVID-19?
The school will get in touch with the Council’s Public Health team to let them know of any suspected or confirmed cases so they can carry out a risk assessment to identify who has been in close contact with the suspected or positive case during the infectious period.
The Public Health team will then explain to the school whether any children or staff need to self-isolate so they can quickly contact parents/carers of any children affected.
The Public Health team will also monitor any suspected or confirmed cases to make sure school staff and families get appropriate support and advice.
If there is a positive case in your child’s school but your child has been advised to self-isolate, you and all other members of the household can continue as normal provided no one has any symptoms associated with COVID-19. This means that other siblings can go to school and parents can go to work.
What should I do if my child or someone our household develops symptoms outside of school?
- The whole household should self-isolate immediately and arrange a test for anyone with symptoms by calling 119 or going to the NHS website.
- Your child should not attend school and you should let school know whether it is a child or household member who is affected.
- Everyone else in the household should self-isolate for 14 days from when the child or family member’s symptoms started.
What should I do if my child tests positive for COVID-19?
- Let your child’s school know straight away.
- Make sure your child self-isolates for at least ten days, starting from the day symptoms started, or the day of the test if they don’t have symptoms.
- Everyone else in the household should self-isolate for 14 days from when your child’s symptoms started, or from the day of their test if they don’t have symptoms.
- You'll get an email, text or call from the NHS Test and Trace service asking for details about where you've been recently and who you've been in close contact with.
What should I do if someone in our household tests positive for COVID-19?
- The rest of the household, including any children, should self-isolate for 14 days from when the family member’s symptoms started. Even if someone in the household tests negative during those 14 days. This is because it can take up to 14 days after being exposed to the virus for someone to develop symptoms of COVID-19 so it is possible to spread the virus during this time.
- The earliest your child will be able to return to school is 14 days after the family member’s symptoms started.
- Your child should only return to school if they have been well throughout the 14 days. If they develop symptoms during the 14 days you should arrange a test.
What does self-isolate mean?
If your child is told to self-isolate they must not leave their home or garden and should not mix with anyone outside of their household.
When can my child return to school after testing positive for COVID-19?
They can go back to school ten days after their symptoms started, as long as they don’t have a temperature.
If they still have a temperature they will need to self-isolate at home until 48 hours after it has returned to normal.
Can my child return to school if the test result is negative?
If the test result is negative and your child feels well and no longer has symptoms similar to COVID-19, they can stop self-isolating and return to school.
If they still feel unwell it is best to keep them at home until they are better.
Other household members can also stop self-isolating as long as they have not developed symptoms of COVID-19 and are well.
What should I do if my child has been in contact with someone who has COVID-19 symptoms?
Your child and your household can continue to attend school and work as normal unless school or NHS Test and Trace has been in touch to say you need to self-isolate.
If anyone starts displaying symptoms you should follow the guidance above.
Tests should only be arranged for people who have symptoms or for those who have been specifically advised to do so by NHS Test and Trace or the Council’s Public Health Team. This is because it can take 14 days for a person to develop the infection and a negative test before this time can provide false reassurance.
If my whole household needs to self-isolate and I can’t get food or prescriptions what should I do?
If self-isolation is difficult because you have no way of getting essential supplies like food or prescriptions contact the COVID Community Support Team on 01642 733906 or email [email protected]
My child is worried about going to school, what should I do?
Some of our children have not been in school for a long time and we understand they may feel worried about going back to school. All our schools are working hard to keep our children safe and the Council is working with schools to support the emotional health and wellbeing of children and young people.
We hope that the new safety measures being introduced will help reassure you and your children. Here are some things you can do to help them:
- Talk to your child about how they are feeling
- Give them as much information as you can about what they should expect
- Talk to your school if you have concerns about your child attending
- Visit the NHS website for advice on how you can support your child.