Support for parents and students

We’re working with schools and child care providers to help answer questions from parents, carers and pupils about the new school year in September. We will continue to update this advice over the coming weeks to comply with government guidance, which can change quickly.

See further information for parents and students:

See further national resources for parents and students:


Making schools safe

Schools will continue to have regular cleaning routines, with a particular focus on frequently-used areas.

They will also have to ensure the building is well ventilated and improve fresh air flow in poorly ventilated spaces, or when holding events where visitors such as parents are on site.

Schools no longer have to operate ‘bubble’ systems, but may continue with previous lunch and start/end times in September so check with your child’s school for details.

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Face coverings in schools and colleges

The government is advising that all secondary school pupils wear face masks in communal areas of school, unless they are exempt.

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Coronavirus testing

Staff and secondary pupils should continue to take twice weekly lateral flow tests throughout term time and holidays.

Secondary school pupils must take a lateral flow test on the evening before or the morning of the day they return to school after the holidays.

See government advice on understanding lateral flow testing for people without symptoms.

Find out more about symptom-free COVID tests in York.

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Pupil hygiene and hand washing

Pupils will have to continue to wash their hands thoroughly and regularly while at school, using soap and water or hand sanitiser, and should make sure they follow the ‘catch it, bin it kill it’ advice. All pupils who are eligible for the flu vaccine are encouraged to take up this offer from the NHS in the autumn term.

The NHS have produced guidance about how to wash your hands.

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Cases of coronavirus in schools

If your child has symptoms before the start of the school day, please do not send them to school.

All schools will continue to have procedures in place for dealing with both potential and confirmed cases of coronavirus within the school. If your child develops symptoms whilst at school, you will be asked to pick them up immediately. They will remain isolated in school and supervised until they are collected.

For more information about what to do if your child has a positive PCR test, or is in contact with someone who has, see government guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection.

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School attendance

The usual rules on attendance apply with full-time attendance compulsory.

If you have particular concerns about your child, or another member of the family, speak to your school.

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Education at home

Schools have to make plans to provide education at home where needed for pupils who need to be educated at home, for example, pupils who have tested positive or those who are abroad and facing challenges returning due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.

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Transport to school

We work with transport contractors and schools to ensure school transport is in place for all eligible pupils.

The government ‘expects and recommends’ that pupils wear face coverings in enclosed and crowded spaces where they may come into contact with people they don’t normally meet - this includes public transport and dedicated transport to school or college.

See further information about school buses.


Safe walking and cycling routes

There's lots of information available in York about cycle paths and safer ways to get around away from the busier roads.

See the York cycle route map and information about walking and cycling on iTravel York.

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School meals

School kitchens must comply with the guidance for food businesses on coronavirus, which includes enhanced hand washing and cleaning procedures.

Your child can take a packed lunch if you wish, and free school meals will continue to be provided as normal.

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School equipment

Children are only allowed to take in a small number of items such as:

  • school bag
  • coat and hat
  • lunch box
  • books and stationery

Check with your school what items will be provided and what your child needs to take with them.

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School uniforms

See guidance about help with secondary school uniforms.

If you require assistance with primary school uniform, please contact your school. Many schools offer assistance with uniform costs to families who qualify for the pupil premium, such as school jumpers. Many also sell nearly-new items at reduced prices to raise funds.

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Support for students

Support is available for anyone who is particularly worried about their results and next steps.

Services for young people are available from York Mind. You can email: office@yorkmind.org.uk or telephone: 01904 643364.

If you prefer online messaging you can use Kooth.

Kooth is a free, online counselling and emotional wellbeing platform for young people aged 11 to 18. You can use Kooth until you turn 19 years old.

The Kooth website allows young people to gain anonymous access to advice, support and guidance on any issue that is affecting their wellbeing. From friendship or relationship issues, family disagreements or difficult home lives, to concerns around eating, anxiety, stress, depression, self harm or suicidal thoughts.

Their qualified counsellors can give young people the support they need, when they need it. Kooth’s live chat service is available Monday to Friday from midday to 10.00pm, and on Saturdays and Sundays from 6.00pm to 10.00pm and is accessible through mobile, tablet or desktop, completely free of charge.

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COVID vaccinations for 12-15 year olds

Young people that they can get their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccination from the day they turn 12 years old.

Most children can get a second dose from 12 weeks after they have had their first dose.

If your child has tested positive for COVID-19 and is not in an ‘at risk’ group to COVID, they will need to wait 12 weeks before they can have either a first or second dose. 

Children can get their vaccination:

  • at school: further dates for school based vaccinations will be sent out to parents directly from schools
  • book a vaccination appointment: from Monday 17 January appointments will be available to book via the National Booking System for vaccinations at the Askham Bar vaccination site
  • walk-in service: There are some walk-in clinics across the city, for more information about these please see the NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group page.

For more information on COVID-19 vaccinations for 12 to 15 years olds please visit the NHS Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines for children aged 12 to 15 webpage.

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Also see