Attending school during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

Our priority is to make sure that schools and early years settings are open in a way that protects the health and wellbeing of both children and staff.

We know children's wellbeing is made better from the social interaction and structure that school provides. We believe that it's important for children to be in their school or early years setting to avoid lost learning and the significant impact that this may have on their future outcomes. 

Find out more information about supporting your child to return to school.

Making schools safe

All schools have undertaken a comprehensive risk assessment, covering staffing levels, building layouts, and other issues that have an impact on safety.

Schools will be working in line with the government guidance for schools. Essential measures include:

  • a requirement that people who are ill stay at home
  • robust hand and respiratory hygiene
  • enhanced cleaning arrangements
  • active engagement with NHS Test and Trace
  • formal consideration of how to reduce contacts and maximise distancing between those in school wherever possible and minimise the potential for contamination

Reducing contacts will depend on the school’s circumstances and will (as much as possible) include:

  • grouping children together
  • avoiding contact between groups
  • arranging classrooms with forward-facing desks
  • staff maintaining distance from pupils and other staff as much as possible

For more information, please contact your child’s school. View a full list of our schools in Barnsley

Pupil hygiene and hand washing

Children should wash their hands as soon as they arrive at school and more frequently throughout the day, such as after break times and before and after eating.

Please talk to your child about the importance of handwashing and sanitising, social distancing and the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach when blowing noses.

Read the NHS guidance on how to wash your hands.

School uniform

Schools are responsible for deciding their uniform or dress code. In line with many other local authorities we don't offer a school uniform grant. 

Please contact your child's school directly as they may be able to help with uniform costs. They should be able to offer you advice, whether you're suffering from financial hardship due to COVID-19 or other reasons, or if you're on certain welfare benefits. View a full list of our schools in Barnsley

Washing school uniforms

Clothes worn at school do not need to be cleaned any more often than usual, and they don't need to be cleaned using methods which are different from normal.

Cases of coronavirus in schools

Do not send your child to school if they're unwell.

Parents and carers will be kept informed of any confirmed cases by their child’s school. The identity of anyone with a confirmed case of coronavirus will be kept confidential.

Do not send your child to school if:

  • they do not feel well
  • they have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) or have tested positive
  • you, or someone in your household or support bubble, has symptoms or has tested positive.

You should book a COVID-19 test and self-isolate in line with NHS guidance. The same applies to school staff.

If your child becomes unwell or shows symptoms of coronavirus at school or in childcare, you'll be asked to collect them immediately.

School attendance

It is vital for all children to return to school to minimise the longer-term impact of the pandemic on children’s education, wellbeing and wider development. The usual rules on attendance apply; all children are expected to attend school full-time.

Schools will continue to provide home learning support for children who won't be in school, for example, children who are self-isolating.

If you have particular concerns about your child or another member of the family, please speak to your school. View a full list of our schools in Barnsley

School applications and admissions

You can find details of how to apply for a school place below:

Schools may not be able to run open evenings as they usually do due to restrictions. Contact your child’s school for details.

View a full list of our schools in Barnsley including contact details for all schools and academies.

Extra curricular activities and childcare arrangements

Schools may offer after school activities to help pupils re-engage with their peers, support vulnerable children and to support parents to return to work. Schools may need to be flexible and build this up over time. Please contact your child’s school directly for more details.

Parents are advised to limit the number of different childcare settings used outside school. 

If you use childcare providers or have out of school activities for your children, please check if the providers are carefully considering their own protective measures, and only use providers that can demonstrate this.

If you need to make alternative childcare arrangements, contact our Family Information Service on 0800 0345 340 or email

Alternatively, you can look for OFSTED registered childcare by using our Family Service Directory.

School meals

Your child could be entitled to free school meals if they're in full-time education, and you receive a qualifying benefit. Children who receive a qualifying benefit in their own right are also entitled to receive free school meals.

Find out more about free school meals.

Travelling to school

Find out about the different options when travelling to school.

Public transport

Visit the Travel South Yorkshire website for information and advice about travelling on public transport.

Remember, you'll also need to wear a face covering on public transport.

Active travel

If you can, why not try walking, cycling or scooting to school? It helps you save money, reduces air pollution and includes a bit of exercise into your daily life.

If your family’s bikes need a check-up visit the Active Travel Hub website to book an appointment for a free safety check.

Find out more information about active travel in Barnsley.

School bus services

Find information about school bus services on the Travel South Yorkshire website.

Home to school transport

We've contacted all of the families that use our home to school transport service to reassure them about the safety measures we have in place for this service.

Find more information about school travel for children with special educational, disability or mobility needs.

School drop-off and pick-up times

Your child’s school will provide details of the school day, including drop off-and pick-up times. These may vary for different year groups to avoid large numbers gathering outside school.