Back to School: Coronavirus Safety Guide
The new school season has begun and pupils and teachers alike are coming to terms with the ‘new normal’ in order to limit the spread of the Coronavirus. Parents must therefore entrust a great deal of responsibility to their children once they leave for school. We’ve highlighted some basic, but effective, guidance for parents in order to help them understand what small things can be done to help reduce the risk and spread of Coronavirus.
Your child might have worries about returning to school. Listen to these worries and help put their mind at ease whilst still conveying the gravity of the situation. Managing and discussing worries and fears can help them to return to a healthy learning environment whilst still maintaining safe practices on a daily basis.
Travelling to and from:
First and foremost, we would advise anyone within a two mile radius of their school to consider walking, cycling or scooting, if they can. However, those who do need to drive could park a short distance away from their school building and walk the rest of the way if possible. This has already proven effective in reducing congestion and helping to stagger drop offs. All students travelling via public transport or contracted buses should wear a face covering and face forward in their seat. Plan your journey in advance, allow additional travel time, and follow all school guidelines around reducing the spread of coronavirus.
Give your child clear and strong messages about why it is still important to abide by the rules, even though some restrictions have been relaxed. Remind them that these rules are for their safety, as well as yours and the people around them. However, emphasising the temporary nature of social distancing restrictions will help them to see a light at the end of the tunnel for things returning to normal.
Talk to your child about how they can stay safe while they are in school. For example, show them what two-metre’s distance looks like, let them know when they should wash their hands, and think about games or activities they can do with friends from a distance. Helping your child to get into a routine of hand washing and appropriate social distancing will only help to ease their adjustment to mandatory school protocols.
Looking after yourself:
It is easy to forget that you too are also experiencing a sudden change in your life and routine. Over the last several months, you may have been balancing having your children at home alongside your job, worries about employment or health, and caring for vulnerable family or friends. This is a lot to manage and it is important to remember that as society moves towards normality, as will your own life – there is an end to all of this!
There is a great deal of online guidance and help for parents who may have more questions about how schools will operate and how this may affect them. Here are some of the ones we think may be helpful:
Coronavirus Crisis – Advice for Parents and Carers – Coronavirus and Schools
Guidance for full openings – GOV.UK
Coronavirus help and support – NSPCC