Back to school

All children and young people are returning to school and college on 8 March. 

Government guidance is being closely followed at schools with a range of protective measure put in place to help reduce risks and keep children and young people safe. 

Your child’s nursery, school, or college will be able to give you more information about specific changes they have made. 

Parents and carers can also find out more about what they need to know about early years’ providers, schools and colleges during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and going back here

The full catalogue of guidance for teachers, school leaders, carers, parents and students can be found here

Getting tested for COVID-19

Secondary schools have student testing arrangements in place to ensure that face-to-face teaching can commence by 22 March at the latest. From then on, students will be provided with home test kits by schools. This will mean that they can self-test at home, and schools will be able to focus on helping them to make up any lost learning.

Families, households and support bubbles of school children or any age are eligible for twice weekly lateral flow tests. 

Wakefield Council is encouraging all school age children, their families and support bubbles to participate in regular rapid testing to identify as many cases as possible before they can spread the virus further. This will help prevent outbreaks and bubble closures, and keep children in school, which is crucial for their education and wellbeing’.

Parents and members of support bubbles can book appointments for a supervised test at any of our three community test sites in the district. Visit www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/wakefield-lft-32251202091 to book an appointment.

Kits for home testing can currently be collected from a small number of sites. We hope to expand the network of collection points as soon as possible.

Please visit: find-covid-19-rapid-test-sites.maps.test-and-trace.nhs.uk/findatestcenter.html to find your nearest collection points. 

This testing service is only for those who are symptom-free (asymptomatic). Anyone displaying COVID-19 symptoms, should self-isolate and book a test as soon as possible at nhs.uk/ask-for-a-coronavirus-test or by calling 01924 224497.

Getting to school 

With children and young people going back to school, we are committed to ensuring that they can all safely get there.  

There are many ways you can travel to school. In the first instance, we would encourage you to walk, cycle, or scoot to school if you can and if you live a short distance (2 miles or less) from your school or further education college. 

This will help to reduce pressure on the public transport network for those who need it most. There’s also lots of benefits to each:

Walking

Walking is a great way to get some exercise. Physical activity is great for growing brains, bones, muscles, and imaginations and will help your child to arrive at school wide awake and ready to learn. 

It’s also the perfect time to connect and spend some quality time with your family. While you’re walking to school why not make it even more fun by playing some games? 

If you want to explore further afield, you can find lots of walks across the district at www.wakefield.gov.uk/walking 

Cycling

For older students, or younger if accompanied by an adult, cycling is a great way to get fit, breathe in some fresh air, and have some 'you time' as you travel to school or college. 

There are many bike shops across the district to get you started and lots of cycle routes to discover. 

Adults and college students can also take advantage of free socially distant one-to-one adult cycle training sessions. These are being made available to help cycle to work or college. 

Remember though, to check with your school or college to make sure there is a place to leave your bike, and don’t forget your lock.  

If students aren’t able to walk, cycle, or scoot, they can still use public transport or drive to school or college.

For a range of cycling opportunities across the district visit www.wakefield.gov.uk/cycling

If students aren't able to walk, cycle, or scoot, they can still use public transport or drive to school or college.

Taking the bus

For everything you need to know about school bus operations, time tables, as well as what to expect when travelling on board – visit West Yorkshire Metro at: www.wymetro.com/schools 

Driving to school

When driving your child to school please park as far away from other cars as you can and maintain social distancing on the way to school. 

You could enjoy some quality family time by parking and striding. Just park the car ten minutes away from school and enjoy some exercise and the chance to connect with your child as you complete the journey on foot. 

Your school may have its own social distancing measures in place. Please be patient and follow instructions from staff. 

Staying safe when out and about 

Whatever mode of transport taken to get to school or college, remember when out and about to: 

  • Keep your distance from others 

  • Try to not stop and chat on the pavement, as this will block access for others

  • Avoid touching surfaces

  • Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds

  • Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available

  • Wash your hands as soon as you get home

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze

  • Put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards

  • If you can, wear something that covers your nose and mouth when it's hard to stay away from people, this is essential if you are using public transport or taking a taxi

  • DO NOT touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean

Additional information

Department for Education coronavirus helpline

The Department for Education has set up a school helpline to answer questions from staff, parents and young people about coronavirus issues related to education.

 

Tel: 0800 046 8687

Email: DfE.coronavirushelpline@education.gov.uk

Open from 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)


Children with SEND

For children and young people with SEND, who are in receipt of transport support, the Home School Transport Team should have already been in contact with you to provider further information and details. 

You can contact them: 

Useful links and downloads

Walking

Cycling:

For bike and helmet checks:

Highway code

Returning to primary school – what parents need to know

Returning to secondary school – what parents need to know