Public Health - Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Nurseries, pre-schools, schools and colleges

Visit our dedicated COVID-19 website Keep the Island Safe

Secondary and college pupils and staff are required to continue asymptomatic LFT testing for COVID-19, twice each week. This includes over the summer holiday period to reduce the chance of the virus spreading. Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms (a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste) or has a positive LFT test should arrange to have a free PCR test as soon as possible. On-site testing at secondary schools and colleges will take place at the beginning of the autumn term.

The guidance What parents and carers need to know about early years providers, schools and colleges during COVID-19 provides further information.

Getting to school

The Department for Education (DfE) has updated the guidance for the delivery of Home to School Transport from September 2021. The information below details our expectations of children, families, operators, School Escorts and schools who deliver or use the service.

  • Transport arrangements will not support bubbling, separate destinations (either separate schools or separate sites for an individual school), or phased starts. Pupils will be able to sit anywhere on larger vehicles (there is no expectation that pupils will sit in year groups). 
  • Children and young people aged 11 and over, School Escorts and drivers should wear a face covering when travelling on dedicated transport to secondary school or college unless medically exempt.
  • Good hygiene practices should continue to be followed. Frequent and through hand cleaning should now be regular practice with soap and water or hand sanitiser. For respiratory hygiene, the “catch it, bin it, kill it” approach continues to be very important.
  • Transport operators should maintain appropriate cleaning regimes using standard products such as detergents. An appropriate cleaning schedule should be in place with a particular focus on frequently touched surfaces. 
  • Vehicles should be well ventilated when occupied, particularly by opening windows and ceiling vents. The need for increased ventilation should be balanced while maintaining a comfortable temperature.
  • When a pupil, driver or School Escort develops COVID-19 symptoms or has a positive test Public Health advice should be followed on when to self-isolate and what to do. 
  • Drivers and School Escorts must follow national track and trace advice and inform Home to School Transport immediately if they are contacted. 
  • If a pupil, driver or School Escort has symptoms of COVID-19 they should not board dedicated transport or public transport. This includes other reasons requiring them to stay at home such as a requirement to quarantine. Parents should ensure their child does not seek to attend school when they have symptoms. 
  • If a pupil develops COVID-19 symptoms, however mild, while at school or college, they will be sent home. A member of their family or household should collect them where possible. In exceptional circumstances, if parents or carers cannot arrange collection of the pupil, and it is age appropriate and safe to do so the child should walk, cycle or scoot home. If this is not possible then alternative arrangements may need to be organised by the school. 
  • Schools (where there is a transport impact), drivers and School Escorts should continue to report positive cases to the Home to School Transport team. 
  • Asymptomatic testing remains important. All secondary school pupils should receive 2 on-site lateral flow device (LFD) tests, 3 to 5 days apart, on their return in the autumn term. They should then continue to test twice weekly at home until the end of September, when this will be reviewed. Transport will not be provided for any additional trips necessary for return to school testing. Drivers and School Escorts are encouraged to test regularly and kits can be collected from a local pharmacy or ordered online. 
  • Anyone with a positive?Lateral Flow test result should self-isolate in line with the stay at home guidance. They will also need to get a free PCR test to check if they have coronavirus (COVID-19). Whilst awaiting the PCR result, the individual should continue to self-isolate. If the?PCR?test is taken within 2 days of the positive lateral flow test, and is negative, it overrides the self-test?LFD?test and the individual need no longer self-isolate, as long as they don’t have COVID-19 symptoms

Supporting Mental Health and Wellbeing

Our Educational Psychology Team provides expertise, training and support to schools to enable them to help pupils to maintain good mental health and well-being. The team also has a telephone contact line which parents and carers can access for advice. The COVID-19 outbreak affects everyone’s daily lives. How a child or young person reacts can vary according to their age, how they understand information and communicate, their previous experiences, how they typically cope with stress, and the support systems they have around them. During this time, it’s important that you take care of your family’s mental health. Further information can be found in the government guidance on supporting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing.

Early Years (0-4 year olds) and out of school (school age) - availability

Information about the Isle of Wight’s childcare services, including early years providers, nurseries childminders and out of school providers in your area can be found using our Local Offer online portal. Parents or carers with a specific childcare requirement should contact the Early Years team on 01983 821000.