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Luton Borough Council

Schools and educational establishments

School closures

As we are in national lockdown, all schools and settings in Luton are currently open for vulnerable children and children of critical workers only. All other children will be undertaking remote learnin​g a​t home.

Please go to your child's school website for more details.​​​​​​

Nurseries and early years settings

All nurseries and early years providers are able to remain open. We’ve advised ​providers that they must prioritise places for vulnerable children and children of ‘critical’ workers. Please contact their relevant nursery or early years provider for more details.

 
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Measures in schools

For those children attending school during lockdown, ​Luton schools have a wide​ range of strong measures in place to reduce the risk of infection and to create a safe environment for your child. These are specific to each school and include some or all of: 
  • potential staggered timings to help children get used to the new routines
  • potential changes in pick up and drop off times
  • increased cleaning of frequently touched surfaces and equipment
  • frequent hand washing with soap and water
  • ‘catch it, kill it, bin it’ – encouraging good respiratory hygiene (sneeze or cough into a tissue and immediately put it in a bin)

Together we can help reduce the risk of infection by:

  • not sending your child to school if they have coronavirus symptoms (persistent cough or high temperature or loss/change in sense of smell or taste) or if anyone they live with has symptoms
  • complying with the measures put in place at your child’s school
  • following local and national guidance including frequent hand-washing, regularly cleaning
  • frequently touched surfaces and social distancing 
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Risk to children

As per the latest national guidance, children have a lower risk of getting infected with coronavirus, and evidence shows that even when infected they usually only develop a mild infection and are less likely to pass it on to other children. There's no evidence that children transmit the disease any more than adults. 
 

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Frequently asked questions

We've created frequently asked questions to address some of the concerns raised by parents and carers and to correct misinformation which is circulating on social media and WhatsApp groups.
 
To ensure you are receiving the correct facts please get your information from official sources such as:
If you still have any concerns please discuss this with the school in the first instance. You can also email questions to [email protected] and we will be regularly updating this web page with latest information.
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Each tab below contains questions relating to that particular subject. Expand for more information.
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What happens if my child develops coronavirus symptoms at school?

If a child begins to feel unwell with coronavirus (Covid-19) symptoms while at school, safety measures will be put in place including the following:

  • schools will contact the parent or carer to collect the child and to arrange for them to have a test
  • while the child is awaiting collection they will be moved to a room or an area where they can be kept least two metres away from others, after the child has left the school, all areas where they have been will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected
  • the child will need to self-isolate for 10 days or until a negative test result has been received and people who they live with will need to self-isolate for 10 days, only people who have symptoms should be tested, even if they are asked to isolate
  • if the child tests negative, they can return to school and the people they live with can end their self-isolation, providing that the child is well enough to go to school
  • if the child tests positive, the rest of their class or bubble will be sent home and advised to self-isolate for 10 days, however household members of the class will not need to self-isolate unless the child they live with develops symptoms

I’m having difficulty booking a test online, should I call 111?

Please do not call 111, as they cannot arrange a test for you. If you are experiencing problems booking Covid-19 test please call 119. However, if tests are not available near where you live, please keep checking back on the NHS website as new test slots are released throughout the day. You should only call NHS 111 if you need urgent medical care and help.

Will schools start and finish at the normal times?

To reduce children mixing, some schools may apply different drop off and pick up times for different classes or year groups. Please speak to the school or visit their website to find out details of the arrangements they have put in place.

Will breakfast and after school clubs continue?

The welfare and safety of all pupils and staff will be a priority for schools, so they will need to consider how they can operate breakfast and after school clubs while ensuring they can still have the robust measures in place to ensure a safe environment for all.

Please check with your child’s school for details of the arrangements which have been put in place.

My child has a runny nose, sore throat and a cough, should I keep them at home and book a test?

At this time of the year, it is common for children to have cold-like symptoms, such as a runny nose, earache or a sore throat without a fever. If your child has these symptoms but is otherwise well, they can still attend school. If your child has any of the symptoms of Covid-19, they should stay at home for 10 days and get tested:

  • a high temperature – this means they feel hot to touch on their chest or back
  • a new, persistent cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if they usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • a loss or change to their sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed they can’t smell or taste anything or they tell you that things smell or taste different to normal

Can a school insist on my child regularly using hand sanitiser throughout the day?

Children are washing their hands regularly throughout the day. Schools are also providing hand sanitiser as this is faster and will keep pupils in class for longer. If you do not wish your child to use hand sanitiser, they will use soap and water to wash their hands for 20 seconds.

Can I refuse my child from having their temperature taken at school?

If your child has a temperature, you should not send them to school. Taking children’s temperature is not part of the daily routine at school , but some schools may take a pupil’s temperature if they suspect they have a fever. If this confirms the pupil has a fever, you will be contacted to take them home. If it shows they do not have a fever, they will be able to remain in school as long as they feel well. If you do not wish your child to have their temperature taken, and the school suspects they have a fever, your child will be sent home. If your child returns to school but is still displaying signs of a fever and the school is are not able to verify otherwise, they will be sent home again.

Can schools undertake Covid-19 testing on pupils?

No – schools do not test pupils for Covid-19.

The government has given schools a small number of home test kits which they can give to you so you can test your child at home.

If I have not given my consent for my child’s details being shared as part of the NHS Test and Trace process and the school shares the information are they are in breach of GDPR?

The school is legally able to share data under GDPR article 6 and 9 (public task and public health). Further, the school is required under notices issued by the secretary of state in relation to control of patient information (COPI) to share data in relation to Covid-19. The school will ensure however that all information is treated sensitively, kept secure and we will only share the minimum required to meet legislative requirements and for the safety of our staff and pupils.

If a child tests positive within the school community, we are required by law to engage with the national Test and Trace process. In this situation Luton Council Public Health and/or Public Health England will support the school in identifying any other individuals who would be required to self-isolate and they would contact those individuals accordingly. It is important that families comply with this to help stop the spread of the virus. The school will arrange remote learning for all children who are having to self-isolate.

I have heard a rumour that schools are allowed to detain children on school premises if they suspect they have Covid-19, is this true?

If a child begins to feel unwell with coronavirus (Covid-19) symptoms while at school, safety measures will be put in place including the following:

  • schools will contact the parent or carer to collect the child and to arrange for them to have a test
  • while the child is awaiting collection they will be moved to a room or an area where they can be kept least two metres away from others, after the child has left the school, all areas where they have been will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected

Can I stop the school from teaching my child about Covid-19, I’m worried they will find it upsetting?

Schools feels this is an important topic at the present time to educate pupils about, and will do so with the greatest regard to their mental health. Teachers are therefore likely to speak to classes, assemblies and groups about Covid-19 on occasion.

Can a school vaccinate my child without my consent?

No. Schools would not vaccinate any pupil without the consent of a parent first.

I’ve heard rumours that whole classes have tested positive

Sadly there are people deliberately spreading fake news on social media and WhatsApp groups.

To ensure you are receiving the correct facts please get your information from official sources such as:

You are putting my child in danger by reopening schools

It is now compulsory for all school-age children to attend school.

Keeping children and staff safe is the number one priority for schools and they have put robust measures in place to reduce the risk of infection and create a safe environment for your child.

Schools work closely with Public Health and Health and Safety to ensure robust risk assessments are in place. We have the safety and wellbeing of our children, families and school staff at the heart of everything we do. Decisions are made locally by individual schools on how to ensure safe environments for all children, families and staff

When do schools reopen?

Schools will contact parents directly to inform them of their return to school arrangements.

Please contact your school or view the school website for further information.

Are secondary school and college students required to wear facemasks in school?

Luton is not currently one of the listed areas where face coverings are mandatory in all secondary schools and further education settings. Individual schools can take their own decisions.

We have advised schools as per the latest government guidance. Students and parents can speak to their school for more information on how this applies to them.

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Coronavirus testing for children

Children aged 11 years or under can attend a rapid test centre with a parent or adult. The adult will be asked to administer the test on the child.

Children aged 12-17 years can self-administer the test under the supervision of their parent or adult or if required the parent or adult can administer the test.

Please note: Rapid testing centres should only be attended by children or adults with no symptoms. For more information please visit our Coronavirus testing page.

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© 2021 Luton Council, Town Hall, Luton LU1 2BQ