Coronavirus advice

Advice to schools, settings and parents

Are schools and settings in Hackney open?

From September 2020, all Hackney Schools and settings will reopen to all year groups. We do, however, encourage you to check the school website for any local arrangements which may be in place.

The government guidance, What parents and carers need to know about early years providers, schools and colleges in the autumn term helps to explain what the arrangements for school and setting opening is.from September 2020.

Please refer to school websites for more information on their status and local arrangements

Are out-of-school settings open?

The government has produced guidance on the protective measures that all settings who run community activities, holiday clubs, after-school clubs, tuition and other out-of-school provision for children must meet to reduce the risk of infection and transmission during the virus (COVID-19) outbreak.

They have also released guidance for parents and carers which details how they can check with a provider that they have put in place protective measures to reduce the risk of infection, before they send their child to a particular setting.

What to do if a pupil or member of staff has coronavirus symptoms or tests positive for coronavirus

The Council has drafted guidance for schools and education settings setting out actions to follow in various scenarios which may arise where pupils and/or school staff become symptomatic or test positive for coronavirus. The guidance is part of the City and Hackney Local Outbreak Control Plan which has been drafted to define operational roles and responsibilities in response to local clusters, outbreaks or cases in high risk areas, communities or settings within Hackney and/or the City of London.

Government guidance Coronavirus (COVID-19): implementing protective measures in education and childcare settings, also sets out actions to follow for symptomatic and confirmed cases in schools and settings. It advises that symptomatic individuals must be sent home and advised to follow the COVID-19: guidance for households with possible coronavirus (COVID-19) infection guidance. As well as what PPE should be worn by staff caring for a symptomatic individual and cleaning of the infected area afterwards, it also provides advice on actions to take should a child, young person or staff member test positive for coronavirus.

Symptomatic children, young people and staff should also be encouraged to request a coronavirus test as soon as possible by visiting NHS.UK to arrange or contact NHS 119 via telephone if they do not have internet access.

In an emergency, call 999 if the child or staff member is seriously ill or injured or their life is at risk. Do not visit the GP, pharmacy, urgent care centre or a hospital.

Find out more about getting tested in Hackney

HR and staffing

The Council has drafted a series of guidance documents:

Risk assessments

The Council’s Health & Safety team have reviewed its guidance issued to support schools undertaking a local risk assessment review. 

View the risk assessment spreadsheet (Excel)

Schools will need to ensure that all stakeholders are able to access this risk assessment and have a mechanism with which to feedback any concerns.

Please email the Council’s Health, Safety and Wellbeing team for further advice & guidance and to return a copy of your updated risk assessment. 

Other action to take/government advice

A UK-wide campaign has been launched to provide clear advice on how to slow the spread of coronavirus.

Schools and settings are advised to refer to the following government guidance to assist them in providing advice for pupils, students, staff and parents or carers. Given the quickly changing nature of the situation, this advice is regularly updated and we recommend that you refer back to it on an ongoing basis:

Please also help to support the campaign which promotes basic hygiene practices, such as regularly washing hands and always sneezing into a tissue (and then immediately disposing of it), to stem the spread of viruses. NHS advice is available regarding washing your hands.

Department for Education Coronavirus Helpline

The Department for Education has set up a Coronavirus Helpline for school staff and leaders to help manage the spread of coronavirus:

Covid-19 Community Support

Hackney Council has maintained its Covid phone line (now rebranded Here to Help) and developed the Community Partnerships Network as the main way to support residents with practical help in response to the direct and indirect impacts of the ongoing pandemic.

This phone line update covers the ways that the Council is scaling up to support people over the next few months, taking account of the cumulative impacts of lockdown, tier 3 and the winter break. This briefing summarises the support between Christmas and New Year

Other resources and materials

Transport for London funding for under 18 travel

The proposal to remove free travel for U18s has been withdrawn as part of the TfL funding agreement. For the time being under 18 travel will remain free.

We know a significant number of Hackney pupils use public transport to get to school or college. However we also know that 85% of pupils live within 2 miles of school: a distance which is walkable by the great majority.

We are encouraging pupils to use active travel means, walking or cycling, wherever possible. This avoids public transport, saves money if fares have to be paid - and is the healthiest option.


Hilary Smith, Head of Strategy, Policy and Governance