Coronavirus (COVID-19) - updates, advice and guidance for parents and carers
Are schools and settings in Hackney open?
Yes. All schools and early years settings are open as usual and it is expected that all school aged children will attend everyday unless unwell. Please, however, check your school or setting’s website for any local arrangements.
For more information about school opening, please see the full government guidance, what parents and carers need to know about early years providers, schools and colleges.
What are schools doing to ensure my child is safe?
All schools and settings have undertaken risk assessments to reduce the risk of infection whilst staff and pupils are on site. This will include control measures such as good hygiene, ventilation, testing and management of positive cases within the school community.
If you have any concerns about your child’s attendance at school, please talk to the school about this. They will be able to provide reassurance and explain the measures put in place to reduce any risks.
Are staff and pupils required to wear face coverings?
Government guidance is that face coverings are currently not advised for pupils, students, staff and visitors in classrooms or communal areas in schools and FE providers. Some schools, settings and providers, however, may choose to have local arrangements in place where face coverings are required (e.g., in response to increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases, etc). Please check with your child’s school.
Are staff and pupils required to undertake regular Covid-19 testing?
With up to 1 in 3 people with Covid-19 not displaying any symptoms, regular testing remains a vital tool to help us stay ahead of the virus.
We encourage all residents to undertake twice-weekly regular testing using Lateral Flow Devices (LFDs). This habit is as important as ever and we urge you to report all results using the government website (whether negative or positive).
Test kits can be obtained from your child’s secondary school / college or from rapid test centres and pharmacies around the borough. See more information about testing.
At the start of the autumn term 2021, all secondary school pupils & college students will be asked to undertake 2 lateral flow device tests at school, 3 to 5 days apart. Your child’s school will provide more information about this.
Staff at early years settings, maintained nursery schools, secondary and special schools are also being encouraged to undertake regular LFD testing.
For more information about testing, see the government guidance, regular rapid lateral flow coronavirus (COVID-19) tests.
Covid 19 Vaccination for Children and Young People
For most children and young people, COVID-19 is usually a milder illness that rarely leads to complications. It can, however, affect anyone, with some children and young people being at greater risk of severe disease than others - e.g., those with severe neurodisabilities, severe learning difficulties, down’s syndrome and other serious conditions.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) recommends vaccination for the following groups:
- 12-15 year olds with specific vulnerabilities
- Those aged 12 years and over who live with individuals who are immunosuppressed
- 16-17 year olds at increased risk of severe infection.
At this stage, this will initially be offered as a single dose whilst guidance on the second dose is formalised. Vaccination of the above groups will not be delivered in school, but those eligible will be contacted directly via the NHS to arrange a suitable appointment time.
Whilst it is acknowledged that there is a very small risk of side effects, the benefit of vaccination in reducing the risk of catching Covid-19 and / or becoming seriously unwell or dying is evident. Vaccination protects individuals and those around them as well as playing a crucial role in stopping the spread of the virus. We are, therefore, encouraging all adults (age 18 and over), 16-17 year olds and vulnerable 12-15 year olds to take up the offer of vaccination when invited to do so.
This video features young people and frontline staff telling their stories of being unwell with or treating patients with Covid-19 and helps to explain why vaccination is important.
Keep London safe
These resources provide information about the Covid vaccination and other ways of keeping London safe.
- Information and resources about keeping London safe
- Vaccination teaching resources
- Covid-19 vaccination videos by Public Health
What to do if you or your child has coronavirus symptoms
Stay at home for ten days if you have:
- a high temperature;
- a new continuous cough; or
- a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia).
If you have the above symptoms, you should arrange to have a PCR test as soon as possible to see if you have COVID-19. This is different to the home (rapid/lateral flow device) test kits and must be booked or ordered online. Find out more about what testing is and how to arrange a test. There is also information about how to book a PCR test on Hackney’s website.
Read the stay at home guidance which sets out when and how to self isolate.
Information and support
There is a range of information and support about coronavirus on Hackney’s website (including testing and getting vaccinated, which are both essential ways to help slow the spread of the virus).