Getting back to school

Schools and early years questions

Frequently asked questions for schools and parents

Hounslow and the rest of the country is under national lockdown, we understand that some parents may have questions about schools.

What do we know about children and young people and COVID-19 so far?

Research from around the world shows there have been far fewer confirmed cases of COVID-19 disease in children than adults (children consistently make up 1-5% of total case numbers in reports).  The infection also appears to be milder in children than adults, with many having mild or no symptoms.  Deaths in children due to COVID-19 have been extremely rare, similar to the rates seen every year with seasonal flu.

Information taken from The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health: Covid-19 research evidence summaries

Transmission in Schools

There is lots of research happening to understand transmission of the virus in schools but earlier school closures limited studies, however, so far research shows most cases of COVID-19 in children were home acquired infection.

What we know about COVID-19 transmission in schools   (updated March 2021)

What happens if a child in my child’s school bubble tests positive for COVID-19?

The children and school staff who are contacts of a confirmed case need to isolate but the rest of their family they live with do not need to isolate. The whole family who live in the house of someone who either tests positive or has symptoms must self-isolate.

What school are doing to reduce risk

Each school is different, but they have all undertaken risk assessments to determine how best to manage their school environment.  There is national guidance for schools on evidenced based measures they can take to reduce risk, guidance is updated regularly and shared with Hounslow schools.  Schools do not need to take children’s temperatures as routine testing of an individual’s temperature is not a reliable method for identifying coronavirus.

Schools can seek advice from Hounslow Council Health & Safety Team and Public Health Team, if they need to.

Locally the evidence suggests when schools have a confirmed case of COVID-19 they are following the guidance, seeking support, risk assessing the situation in their school and then taking action advising on who needs to isolate.

Wearing face masks in schools

When an area moves to Local COVID Alert Level: high or very high, in settings where pupils in year 7 and above are educated, face coverings should be worn by adults and pupils when moving around the premises, outside of classrooms, such as in corridors and communal areas where social distancing cannot easily be maintained. This does not apply to younger children in primary schools and in early years settings.

How can parents and carers help?

Do not send your child to school if:

  • They have COVID-19 symptoms
  • Someone in your household has COVID-19 symptoms or has tested positive
  • Your child is awaiting a COVID -19 test result
  • Your child has been advised to isolate as they were a close contact to someone that tested positive

See the parent flowchart for more information on how long

Parents/carers should socially distance at drop off and pick up, wear masks where they cannot socially distance e.g. at the school gate or in the playground, and follow guidance specific to your child’s school e.g. one way systems and staggered start times.

Download the NHS COVID-19 app 

Travel to and from school

Where possible children and young people should walk or cycle to school.  For those that need to use public transport they should follow safer travel guidance safer travel guidance

Car sharing is only permitted if you are from the same household or in a support bubble with them.

After school clubs

Registered childcare and other childcare activities (including wraparound care) can continue to be offered.

Parents can form a childcare bubble with another household for the purpose of informal childcare where the child is 13 or under.


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