Help and advice for children and families about attending school and college safely.
From Monday 8 March 2021, our children and young people will return to education settings across Torbay and Covid-safe measures are in place to ensure their safe return.
Primary schools will open their doors from Monday 8 March and all children are expected to attend.
Secondary schools and further education settings will be staggered as testing has to be undertaken. Pupils and parents will be advised by their school or college when to return.
Asymptomatic testing is vital because staff, students and pupils without symptoms could be carrying the virus and may spread it to others. By having robust testing procedures in place it will help helps secondary schools and colleges to operate as safely as possible.
Lateral Flow Testing measures will be in schools for the first weeks and then will move to home testing. Home testing needs to be done every Sunday and Thursday after 6pm to help identify cases quickly and stop the virus spreading. Lateral flow testing for households and bubbles of school pupils and staff will also start to be available over the coming weeks. The testing can come through different mechanisms.
The Local Authority is currently establishing a collection system for home testing. We anticipate that this will be available from week commencing 21 March 2021.
In the interim you can order home test kits through the national system
It is really important that if you have Covid-19 symptoms you and your family members continue to isolate and book a Covid-19 test straight away. Information on testing if you have symptoms. Lateral Flow Testing devices should not be used if you have symptoms.
Early Years’ provision remained open during lockdown and will continue to operate as normal from Monday 8 March. Childcare in Torbay can be found via the Family Information Service.
Wrap around provision such as breakfast and after school clubs will be able to operate for all children as normal from Monday 8 March. Parents and carers will need to check with individual schools and providers for specific offers.
Pupils in Year 7 and above along with staff in secondary schools and further educational settings will be required to wear face coverings when moving around outside of classrooms i.e. in corridors and communal areas (where social distancing cannot be easily maintained). They will also be required to wear a face covering in the classroom where a one metre distance from others cannot be guaranteed. Face coverings do not need to be worn by pupils and students when outdoors.
This ruling does not apply to those who are exempt from wearing face coverings or in situations where wearing a face covering would impact on the ability to take part in exercise or strenuous activity, for example in PE lessons.
In primary schools, face coverings should be worn by staff and adult visitors in situations where social distancing between adults is not possible (for example, when moving around in corridors and communal areas). Children in primary school do not need to wear a face covering.
On 6 January 2021, the government confirmed that in summer 2021, students taking GCSE, AS and A levels regulated by Ofqual, should be awarded grades based on an assessment by their teachers.
Additional bus and train routes are also being reinstated. For specific route details please refer to the relevant public transport provider.
Due to funding by Government and Torbay Council, we will ensure that as many families as possible won’t go hungry over the school holidays.
Early years, schools and college settings will identify children and young people who will benefit from receiving vouchers to the value £15 (per child) for each week of the Easter holiday.
Children who receive benefits-related free school meals will also benefit from funding received as part of the Government’s Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) Programme, which will provide free healthy food and enriching activities over this year’s Easter, Summer and Christmas school holidays. Schools will provide more information in due course.
Anyone suffering from food poverty are encouraged to contact the Community Helpline on 01803 446022 or complete this online form.
Torbay Council promotes the Every Mind Matters website which provides information, tips and links to local mental health support (including NHS Talking Therapies and DPT crisis support).
Young People (aged 11 to 25 years) can access the free, anonymous, online mental wellbeing community Kooth.
For a local list of mental health support visit the improve your mood page.