Welcoming children and young people back to schools and early education #backtoschoolsafely

The government are planning for all pupils, in all year groups, to return to schools and college full-time from the beginning of the autumn term in September.

Younger children have already started to return to early education providers before the summer holidays.

The UK Chief Medical Officers stated on the 23rd August 2020 that “overall, compared to adults, children may have a lower risk of catching COVID-19 (lowest in younger children), definitely have a much lower rate of hospitalisation and severe disease, and an exceptionally low risk of dying from COVID-19.”

They added that children are more likely to be harmed by not returning to school and missing lessons could damage children in the long run - “very few, if any, children or teenagers will come to long-term harm from COVID-19 due solely to attending school. This has to be set against a certainty of long-term harm to many children and young people from not attending school”.

Bolton Council is working closely with education providers in Bolton, the Department for Education and unions to ensure schools can reopen in the safest possible way.

Most of Bolton’s schools have been open during the pandemic to support critical workers and vulnerable children. Around half of Bolton’s early years provision has continued to offer places for our younger children, and more providers are coming back each week.

Staff teams across the whole education sector in Bolton have been fantastic at keeping provision going whilst also providing virtual early learning and education remotely and adapting to the latest government guidance.

We know that attending school and early education is vital for children and young people as it:

  • Helps improve educational attainment
  • Supports their wellbeing
  • Provides opportunities to be more physically active

We also know that many parents have changed their working patterns to ensure their child could be cared for when they would otherwise have been in an early years setting, or at school.

The risk to children themselves of becoming severely ill from coronavirus (COVID-19) is very low and there are negative health impacts of being out of school.  

In many ways, preparing to start back at school or an early education setting this September will be like any other year … uniforms, lunches, childcare – all the things you are used to balancing in your day to day life. This next term may bring new additions to your routines to help keep you and your family safe, it’s important that you understand what changes there may be, and that you and your child are ready to get back into education.

These videos of children, young people and school staff will help you and your child understand what going back to school will be like:

The government have produced the ‘What parents and carers needs to know about early years providers, schools and college in the autumn term’ guidance, which can be found online at www.gov.uk/backtoschool.