Nurseries, schools and colleges - advice for parents and carers during COVID-19

The government announced on 10 May that from 1 June, at the earliest, primary schools may be able to welcome back children in the following year groups:

  • nursery
  • reception
  • year 1
  • year 6

Secondary schools, sixth forms and colleges will also be able to provide some face-to-face support for young people in year 10 and year 12, to help them prepare for exams next year.

You can read more about the opening of schools and educational settings to more pupils from 1 June on the government website. 

Nurseries, schools and colleges will still be open for children of critical workers and vulnerable children. 

We know that parents will have a lot of questions about the re-opening of schools, you can read more about our plans for the safe and phased return of pupils here. 

Does my child need to attend school?

If your children are required to attend school, your school will contact you to make plans for them to attend.

If your children are not required to attend school, please make alternative childcare arrangements.

Individual schools will contact parents of those children affected as soon as possible. If you have concerns around your child’s eligibility to continue to attend school, you should contact the school in the first instance. 

Which school will my child attend?

Where possible children should remain in the setting that's familiar to them.

A flexible approach will be taken for the vulnerable pupil groups. Schools will accommodate vulnerable pupils in line with staffing capacity and other available resources and facilities.

Home learning resources

We have compiled a list of useful websites and resources to support home learning for all key stage groups. 

What happens if my child receives free school meals?

The government has announced that low-income families whose children are eligible for free school meals will be offered vouchers, food or meals to make sure they continue receiving this support. This will be available to all children who currently receive a free school meal, even if they are no longer attending school due to closures related to COVID-19 (coronavirus).

Find out more about free school meals during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

What is a key worker?

You can find a full list of who is considered a key worker on GOV.UK.

Where can I find an alternative childcare provider?

Our Families Information Service are available to support families looking for childcare and answer any questions you may have.

You can find a list of Ofsted registered childcare providers in our Family Services Directory.

We’re experiencing a high number of calls, so please email if you have any queries.

We extended our hours from Monday 23 March and are currently answering emails up to 8pm.

Are there any changes to school bus services?

Yes - dedicated school bus services stopped operating on 25 March 2020.

SYPTE is working with schools to plan alternative arrangements, including taxis where this is appropriate.

Find out more about bus and travel disruptions.

Home to school transport 

We're doing everything possible to keep the usual school transport arrangements in place for children who are still attending school. You may have a different driver or passenger assistant due to staff shortages. We're trying to keep any disruption to a minimum and can reassure you that any replacement staff hold a valid DBS certificate to work with children. 

Information for schools 

Each school should contact parents and carers of pupils who will be attending school to outline the provision and to make plans for these pupils to attend.

Schools should report all partial and full closures to In this instance you do not need to report it using your PIN on the school closures report form.  

Each primary cluster should prepare resilience plans to deal with potential closures. Please share information within your clusters and with

You can also read the guidance for educational settings provided by GOV.UK.

Guidance about the provision of free school meals during COVID-19 is available here.