Luton Borough Council
26/08/2020 - Return to school
With the summer holidays coming to an end, all pupils will start to return to school in September.
Returning to school is vital for your child’s education, mental health and wellbeing and wider social development.
We have been working with our schools, which 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:
- different classes coming back at different times to help children get used to the new routines
- changes in pick up and drop off times
- increased cleaning of frequently touched surfaces and equipment
- frequent hand washing with soap and water and use of hand sanitiser
- ‘catch it, kill it, bin it’ – encouraging good respiratory hygiene (sneeze or cough into a tissue and immediately put it in a bin)
- grouping pupils in ‘bubbles’ to minimise mixing; in primary schools a ‘bubble’ may be a whole class and in secondary schools it may be a whole year group
- one way systems and allocated areas of the school building for different bubbles
While it is incredibly important and exciting to have our children back at school it is equally crucial that you 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)
- complying with the measures put in place at your child’s school
- following local and national guidance including frequent handwashing, regularly cleaning frequently touched surfaces and social distancing
It is compulsory for school-age children to attend school from the autumn term. If you are worried about your child returning please discuss this with the school.
Schools will be contacting parents and carers directly to inform them of their return to school arrangements.
Councillor Aslam Khan, portfolio holder for Education and Skills, said: “The last few months have been challenging ones for pupils, parents and teachers. All schools in Luton have been working hard to ensure a safe and smooth return for school children and this start of a new term will be a vital boost in each child’s educational and social development giving them the skills they need for a successful and prosperous future. I wish every child a safe and productive return to the classroom.”
Councillor Khtija Malik, portfolio holder for Public Health, said, “Nothing can be more important than the safety of pupils as they return to school and our public health teams have been working with the council’s Education Service and head teachers to ensure our schools and colleges are a safe environment for children to learn. We will continue to provide advice and support and assist schools especially if local or national health guidelines change.”
It is understandable that many people will be nervous about sending their children back to school. However, 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 is no evidence that children transmit the disease any more than adults. For the vast majority of children, the benefits of being back in school far outweigh the very low risk from Covid-19.
We appreciate that many of you will have more questions about this process and you will find the answer to many of these at our coronavirus schools page.
We are considering the new guidance issued by the DfE last night on the requirement to wear face coverings for children who attend secondary schools, colleges and further education providers in areas with high rates of transmission.
Luton’s public health team is working closely with schools and the corporate health and safety team to advise them about face coverings in the light of the new guidance.
We will be issuing further guidance to schools and colleges later this week.
© 2020 Luton Council, Town Hall, Luton LU1 2BQ