Coronavirus advice

Advice to schools, settings and parents

The population now has much stronger protection against COVID-19 than at any other point in the pandemic. This means the virus can begin to be managed like other respiratory infections, thanks to the success of the vaccination programme and access to antivirals, alongside natural immunity and increased scientific and public understanding about how to manage risk.

In light of this and in line with the government’s plans for living with Covid-19, restrictions were lifted from 1 April 2022.

Please see City and Hackney’s Covid-19 guidance for schools and settings which provides local information for prevention, mitigation and control of Covid-19.

HR and staffing

Below are guidance documents to support you with staffing matters related to Covid-19 in your schools and settings from 1 April 2022:

The Coronavirus FAQs are currently being updated following the change in guidance from the 1 April. Contact your HR Business Partner or Advisor or email educationhr@hackney.gov.uk if you need specific advice in the meantime.

What to do if a pupil or member of staff has Covid-19 symptoms or tests positive for Covid-19

If a member of staff, child or young person suspects that they may have Covid-19, they should follow the guidance set out in the government guidance, People with symptoms of a respiratory infection including Covid-19 or a positive test result. For more information on symptoms, see the latest list of NHS Covid-19 symptoms in adults and symptoms in children.

Staff, children and young people who are unwell and have a high temperature should stay at home and avoid contact with other people, where they can. They can go back to school, college or childcare, and resume normal activities when they no longer have a high temperature and they are well enough to attend. Children and young people with mild symptoms such as a runny nose, sore throat, or slight cough, who are otherwise well, should continue to attend their setting.

If a child or young person has a positive Covid-19 test result they should try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for 3 days after the day they took the test. After 3 days, if they feel well and do not have a high temperature, the risk of passing the infection on to others is much lower. This is because children and young people tend to be infectious to other people for less time than adults.

Staff and other adults who have tested positive for Covid-19 are advised to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for 5 days; in line with the guidance in People with symptoms of a respiratory infection including Covid-19

If you have any confirmed cases of Covid-19 in staff or children in your school or setting, we ask that you notify Hackney Education as soon as possible using this online form.

Asymptomatic testing in schools and settings

Regular asymptomatic testing is no longer recommended in any education or childcare setting, including in SEND, alternative provision and children’s social care settings.

Vaccination

With the lifting of restrictions, vaccination is a really important way to increase protection against Covid-19 and reduce the spread of the virus.

Two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine are now available to everyone over the age of 5 years old and can be booked online or by calling 119. Details of walk-in vaccination clinics can also be found at www.nhs.uk/vaccine-walk-in

Booster vaccines can also be booked online for all individuals over the age of 16, as well some children aged 12 to 15, who have had 2 doses of the vaccine at least 3 months ago. Evidence shows that protection from Omicron is much more effective following a booster dose. 

Parental consent is required for children aged 5 to 15. Young people aged over 16 years old can provide consent for vaccinations themselves.

Whilst it is acknowledged that there is a very small risk of side effects, the benefit of vaccination in reducing the risk of catching Covid-19 and / or becoming seriously unwell or dying is evident. Vaccination protects individuals and those around them as well as playing a crucial role in stopping the spread of the virus. We are, therefore, encouraging all adults (age 18 and over), children and young people aged 5 to 15 and young people aged over 16 to take up the offer of vaccination when invited to do so.

Information about vaccination - Make sure any information you share about the vaccine comes from a trusted source. As well as Hackney Council’s website, listed below are some reliable sources of information on vaccination.

DSE/home working guidance

Home working should now be a rarity. If there are circumstances where this needs to be considered on a temporary basis please refer to the guidance below developed by Hackney Council's Health and Safety team for council and school staff:

Local and national advice and guidance

As well as City and Hackney’s Covid-19 guidance for educational settings, please refer to the following documents for current government guidance:

Help and advice

Contacts

Hilary Smith, Head of Strategy, Policy and Governance