All children and young people are being asked to return to school and college from the beginning of the autumn term.
Whilst this might look different, government guidance is being closely followed, 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 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 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
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
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
- To help everyone stay safe, when travelling by bus you must:
- Keep 2m apart from people not in your social bubble while waiting for the bus
- 11 year olds and over must wear a face covering (unless exempt)
- Use cashless fare options, like the MCard where possible
- Practice good hand hygiene
- Be patient and follow instructions from transport staff
- Not travel if unwell
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
Be asthma aware for the return to school, to find out more click here.
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
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
For bike and helmet checks:
Returning to primary school – what parents need to know
Returning to secondary school – what parents need to know