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 a standard operating practice for schools and 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.

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.

HR and staffing

The Council has drafted a series of guidance documents:

Risk assessments

Following government guidance issued on 2 July setting out actions for schools and settings to prepare for opening in September, the Council has reviewed the guidance for the full return of schools. Our revised guidance highlights additional measures necessary to support further risk considerations.

On this basis, schools should review their arrangements in line with the new guidance. Please ensure that a copy of your full opening risk assessment document is sent to the Council’s Health, Safety and Wellbeing team at The team will arrange for a prioritised desktop review to be carried out to identify where further consideration of the guidance may be required.

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:

Other resources and materials

Update on Transport for London funding for under 18 travel from September

As part of the May 2020 Transport for London funding deal with the government, it is possible there will be a temporary suspension of the free travel for most under 18 year olds from September 2020. A significant part of the rationale for this is to reduce numbers and crowding on public transport during what is likely to be a period where Covid-19 is still in circulation.

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.

The current position for September, if the suspension goes ahead, will be that:

  • U11s will travel free
  • 11-16 will travel free for journeys to school for longer than 2 miles

There are also plans to remove some of the concessions for over 16s but details have not been finalised yet

Confirmation of the suspension and subsequent arrangements are awaited.


Hilary Smith, Head of Strategy, Policy and Governance