We have updated our guidance on the use of face coverings in education to reflect the end of National Restrictions on 2 December and to provide details on how face coverings should be used under the local restriction tiers.
Consistent with the World Health Organisation’s advice, schools and colleges should take additional precautionary measures in areas defined as either tier 2 or tier 3 under the local restriction tier system. Information on the local restriction tiers can be found in the full list of local restriction tiers by area guidance.
When an area moves to the local restriction tier 2 or tier 3, in education settings where year 7 and above are educated, face coverings should be worn by adults (staff and visitors) and pupils when moving around indoors, such as in corridors and communal areas where social distancing is difficult to maintain. As in the general approach, it will not usually be necessary to wear face coverings in the classroom, where protective measures already mean the risks are lower, and they may inhibit teaching and learning.
Updated guidance on the use of face coverings when travelling to school or college
Face coverings are an important measure in reducing the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19), particularly in enclosed spaces. Children aged 11 and over are required to wear a face covering on public transport in England, unless exempt for health, age or disability reasons.
From 2 December, in accordance with advice from Public Health England, children and young people aged 11 and over must wear a face covering when travelling on dedicated transport to secondary school or college, unless they are exempt.
Schools should support local authorities in promoting the use of face coverings when travelling to and from school or college and help them to resolve any issues of non-compliance where appropriate.
The ‘Hands. Face. Space.’ campaign urges everyone to continue to wash their hands, cover their face and make space to control infection rates. The NHS has released a ‘Hands. Face. Space.’ video that may be a useful resource when communicating the importance of wearing a face covering on transport directly to children and young people.
Further information on face coverings can be found in our guidance on transport to school and other places of education: 2020 to 2021 academic year.
Updated guidance on protective measures for providers of holiday or after-school clubs and other out-of-school settings
We have updated our guidance on protective measures for providers of holiday or after-school clubs and other out-of-school settings for children during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak to reflect the end of National Restrictions on 2 December and how these settings should operate under the local restriction tiers.
We have clarified the position under the local restriction tiers for:
• home education
• social distancing
• educational visits and trips
• music, dance and drama performances
Updated guidance for parents and carers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak
We have updated our guidance for parents and carers to reflect the end of National Restrictions on 2 December and how these settings should operate under the local restriction tiers.
We have updated our guidance on what parents and carers need to know about early years providers, schools and colleges to clarify the position under the local restriction tiers for:
clinically extremely vulnerable children
music, dance and drama performances
educational visits and trips
We have updated our guidance for parents and carers of children attending out-of-school settings to clarify the position under the local restriction tiers for:
children with health care concerns
parent and child groups
music, dance and drama performances
You may have seen in the news recently that Staffordshire will be increasing the testing of residents in a bid to identify more cases of Covid-19 and reduce the spread of infection.
We are one of several local authorities to sign up for early roll out of new rapid turnaround tests, and there may be an opportunity to use these in sixth forms for schools and colleges that are interested.
We are also expanding our advice around when to get a test.
Currently anyone who has one of the main symptoms of persistent cough, high temperature, new cough or loss of taste or smell must self-isolate immediately and book a test.
However, with many people displaying other symptoms, we are asking residents in Staffordshire to consider getting tested as a precaution if they have other symptoms such as:
• Aches and pains
• Feeling very tired for no good reason
• Sore throat
• Runny nose
• Sometimes ‘tummy ache’ in children
People with any of these symptoms can carry on going to school or work if they are well enough to do so and only need to self-isolate if the test comes back positive.
We are asking all education providers to communicate this to their parents, as often children with Covid-19 can display different symptoms to adults. We want to ensure as many people as possible consider getting a test, even if it is merely a precaution.
The nationaltesting centres across the county have good availability, and can be booked through the NHS website. People booking a test through this website need to check the ‘My council has asked me to get a test’ option.
We also have community testing sites that change on a weekly basis. People can view if
there are any sites set up near them by visiting our testing website.
The advice supersedes the symptom checker chart we sent you a few weeks ago, please
disregard this chart from now on.
Full letter below
30th October 2020
Today the Government has announced that Staffordshire will be raised to the High Alert Level for Covid-19, from Sunday 1 November 2020.
New tighter restrictions will be in force to try and limit the spread of infection and stop the current rising rate of cases across the county.
The main change is that it will be illegal for households to mix indoors socially with others, unless part of a support bubble. This includes in people’s homes and public indoor places.
Across the county, education settings have been doing an amazing job since September to maintain education and childcare for our children, young people and adults and to ensure that those who need isolate at home are able to continue their studies, when appropriate.
It is now more important than ever that we get this virus under control, stop the spread, and do everything we can to avoid being escalated to the Very High Alert Level, which would see more restrictions put in place
You can help with this, by reminding children, parents and staff not to congregate in groups of more than one household indoors or more than six people outdoors, not to come into schools and other educational settings if they are waiting for the results of a Covid-19 test, and to continue to follow the law and government guidance.
The rules are summarised below, and more details are available on the gov.uk website.
Below is a summary of the new guidance:
• You must not mix socially with people you do not live with, in any indoor setting whether at home or, for example, a pub or restaurant, unless they are part of your support.
• You may continue to mix with people outdoors (including in a garden or a park) but you must not meet in a group more than six, and you must follow social distancing rules.
• If you need to travel, you should aim to reduce the number of journeys you make where possible.
• Voluntary and charity groups can continue to support and care for people in their
• Full guidance can be found at www.gov.uk/coronavirus.
Thank you for your hard work in these challenging times.
Follow this link for further details on changes as we move to high in Staffordshire. Click here
A Quick Guide for Parents
How to get tested Click here