Schools, colleges and nurseries across Herefordshire will continue to have safety measures in place this September.
Herefordshire Council would like to welcome the return of children and young people into schools, colleges and nurseries this September.
A range of measures will still be in place to reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus, with the latest national and public health guidance being followed.
This includes additional cleaning and ventilation in schools in the new term; however other measures such as bubbles are no longer required.
Children under the age of 18 and 6 months or anyone who is fully vaccinated (which means at least 14 days have passed since having second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine) will no longer need to isolate if they are a contact of someone who has tested positive for coronavirus. Instead, all contacts aged five or older will be asked to take a PCR as soon as possible.
PCR tests can be booked by visiting www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test
All secondary aged pupils and college students will be given home test kits by their school or college, and will be asked to regularly test themselves twice a week at home and report the results to NHS Test and Trace, and share their results with their school or college.
Secondary school pupils will be asked to do their first two lateral flow tests at school to ensure they learn good techniques to get accurate test results.
Dr Rebecca Howell-Jones, Acting Director for Public Health in Herefordshire, said:
“The past 18 months have been a challenging time for everyone and I would like to thank our schools, colleges and nurseries for all of their hard work in keeping children, staff and the local communities safe.
“Education is fundamental for a child’s development, and regularly seeing friends again will benefit their mental wellbeing. However, it is important to recognise that coronavirus has not gone away and cases rates are high in Herefordshire. Therefore, we will continue to work alongside all of our schools, colleges and nurseries to ensure they continue to provide a safe environment for their staff and children. Please help keep our schools safe by following the latest guidance.”
Cllr Diana Toynbee, Cabinet Member for Children's and Family Services, and Young People’s Attainment, added:
“The commitment and creativity that has gone into supporting our young learners over the past 18 months has been brilliant. I’m hugely grateful to schools, families and carers for their co-operation, in the face of uncertainty and disruption.
“Our teaching staff understand that young people are emerging from their own individual learning journeys, and will work with each child to plan for their ongoing progress.
“Best wishes to all schools, colleges, children and students for the new academic year, with all its challenges, joys and discoveries.”
Information for parents and carers about on how to return to school safely is available on the Herefordshire Council website here.
Even though COVID-19 travel restrictions are no longer in place on public transport, the Government advice is for children and young people to still wear face coverings and to continue to practice good hand hygiene. Children should not board dedicated school transport if they have symptoms of coronavirus. The latest school transport COVID-19 safety information is available here.