Returning to school for the new term might mean you’re feeling a bit nervous – but you’re not alone.
The guidance about keeping you safe at school has been updated so we’ve answered some of the questions you might have below.
Will I still need to wear a face mask when I return to school?
- If you’re in secondary school, you will still be asked to wear a face mask at school for most of the time. This includes in classrooms, communal areas and when moving about the school.
- If you use school transport, you will also be asked to wear a face mask during your journeys to and from school.
- Not everyone is able to wear a face mask. If you don’t think you need to, it’s best to check with a member of staff from your school.
- If you’re in primary school, you don’t have to wear a face mask at school unless your doctor has suggested you should.
- You will need to wear a face mask on the school bus or other school transport though, unless your support needs mean you don’t have to wear one.
- If you would like to wear a face mask you should be allowed to do so.
Will I need to be tested for coronavirus when I return to school?
To reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus at your school, you may be asked to do a coronavirus test at home. This advice remains the same. However, it is completely voluntary. This means you cannot be forced to take a coronavirus test.
Even if you choose not to do the test, you should still be allowed to go to school.
If you are in S4-S6 then your school and local authority should make sure that you have access to at-home testing twice a week. This may soon apply to all high school pupils.
What if someone in my school has coronavirus?
Every school has plans in place to respond quickly and safely if anyone develops coronavirus symptoms while at school. If you show symptoms, you would be kept in a safe space, physically distant from others. Your school would contact your parent/carer to be collected or make your way home safely.
The rules on when pupils need to self-isolate have changed since last school term.
When you return to school, whole classes or groupings of pupils should no longer need to self-isolate for 10 days if someone in their class tests positive for coronavirus.
Instead, the pupil who tested positive will need to self-isolate. Only close contacts of that pupil will be directly contacted by Test and Protect. Those pupils will be asked to self-isolate until they have taken a PCR test. If the test comes back negative and you don’t have any symptoms, you can go back to school.
Your school should work with you, or any pupil who develops symptoms and has to self-isolate, to make sure there is support to continue learning from home. However, this would only happen if you are well enough.