Latest Guidance and Information for Parents
What parents and carers need to know about early years providers, schools and colleges
The government continues to manage the risk of serious illness from the spread of the virus. The Prime Minister announced on 27 November 2021 the temporary introduction of new measures as a result of the Omicron variant and on 8 December that Plan B, set out in the autumn and winter plan 2021, was being enacted. These measures are precautionary, while the variant is tracked and assessed. As a result, we are reflecting these measures in this guidance for parents. This advice remains subject to change as the situation develops.
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, 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
- updated advice on tracing close contacts and isolation to reflect the changes to isolation rules
- continuing to take regular rapid tests will help you to identify infections early and reduce transmission
- your nursery, school or college no longer trace close contacts - close contacts will be identified via NHS Test and Trace
- children and young people aged under 18 years 6 months who usually attend school, and have been identified as a close contact, are not required to self-isolate
- your child no longer needs to remain in a consistent group (‘bubble’)
- 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 a COVID-19 vaccination
- changes to advice for clinically extremely vulnerable children and young people
- updated information to confirm that schools, colleges, nurseries and childminders are not required to use the NHS COVID Pass, unless they are holding a specific event that meets the attendance thresholds
- in primary schools, we recommend that face coverings should be worn by staff, adults, and those aged over 11 (including visitors) when moving around in corridors and communal areas
For the full documentation on this, please click the link below to the Government Website on this.
Stay at home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection
What has changed
The self-isolation advice for people with coronavirus (COVID-19) has changed. It is now possible to end self-isolation after 7 days, following 2 negative LFD tests taken 24 hours apart. The first LFD test should not be taken before the sixth day.
COVID-19 infection rates are very high and the Omicron variant is spreading rapidly. It is important that we all take steps to reduce the spread of COVID-19 infection in the community to save lives and protect the NHS.
If you have COVID-19 symptoms you should stay at home and self-isolate immediately. You should arrange to have a PCR test as soon as possible. If this PCR test result is positive, you must continue to self-isolate.
If you do not have COVID-19 symptoms, but you have a positive PCR test result, you must stay at home and self-isolate.
If you live in the same household as someone with COVID-19 you are at significantly higher risk of becoming infected yourself.
If you have been vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine, you are less likely to become severely ill if you catch COVID-19. You are also less likely to spread COVID-19 to other people, but it is still possible for this to happen. Therefore:
- if you are aged 18 years 6 months or over and you are not fully vaccinated*, and you live in the same household as someone with COVID-19, you are legally required to stay at home and self-isolate
- if you are fully vaccinated or aged under 18 years and 6 months, and you live in the same household as someone with COVID-19, you are not legally required to self-isolate. However, you are strongly advised to take an LFD test every day for 7 days, and to self-isolate if any of these test results is positive
*You are fully vaccinated 14 days after having received 2 doses of an approved vaccine (such as Pfizer/BioNTech, AstraZeneca or Moderna/Spikevax) or one dose of the single-dose Janssen vaccine.
LFD tests are very good at identifying people who have high levels of coronavirus and are most likely to pass on infection to others, even if you do not have symptoms.
You may be entitled to a one-off payment of £500 through the NHS Test and Trace Support Payment scheme if you are legally required to stay at home and self-isolate or you are the parent or guardian of a child who has been told to self-isolate.
For the full documentation, please click the link below for the full Govenment web page on this.