Skip to main content

Are you a Parent? Pupil? Teacher? Student? Find out what stage 3 of the roadmap means for you?

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Coronavirus, early years, Further education, Higher Education, Schools

On 17 May the country moved on to step 3 of the Government’s roadmap and further restrictions were lifted.

For parents, teachers and students, this means there will be some changes in the classroom and a look forward into the summer term.

Here are what these changes mean for you, whether you’re a parent, pupil, teacher or student.

Early Years

What’s changed?

For parents and children, key changes for early years announced with Stage 3 of the roadmap include household mixing indoors outside of nursery settings. This also includes parent and child groups mixing indoors, which are now allowed to go ahead.

Are nursery staff still expected to get tested? 

Nursery staff remain eligible for regular asymptomatic testing as part of education testing programme and are receiving lateral flow device kits for twice weekly testing at home.

Are indoor play dates allowed?

Yes –provided you continue to adhere to the rule of six or mix just two households.

Will my child be allowed friends round after school? 

Yes – your child will be able to have friends’ round after school provided you continue to adhere to the rule of six or mix just two households.

Will I be able to go to a parent and child group now? 

Yes – 30 people will be able to attend a support group or parent and child group. The limit will not apply to children under five.

To find out more information, please see our latest guidance for early years settings here.

Primary Schools

What’s changed? 

For primary schools, it is still strongly recommended that staff and adult visitors wear face coverings in situations where things like social distancing cannot be maintained. For students, other changes include indoor and outdoor sports as well as domestic school trips for educational purposes now being allowed.

Will my child be allowed friends round after school? 

Yes – your child will be able to have friends round after school provided you continue to adhere to the rule of six or mix just two households.

Will there be any changes to mask wearing in primary schools?

No. Primary school children should not be asked to wear a face covering. For teachers and staff, the guidance remains the same, with face coverings strongly recommended for staff and adult visitors where social distancing is not possible. This could change for a temporary period in response to localised outbreaks and concerns around variants.

What about PE and sport? 

From Step 3, students of all ages are allowed to access indoor and outdoor sport and physical activity. All indoor sports facilities should follow the Covid safety guidance outlined specifically for grassroots sport, gym and leisure facilities.

Schools should also make sure that pupils are kept in consistent groups, sports equipment thoroughly cleaned between each use by different individual groups. Indoor and outdoor competition between different schools can also take place.

Are school trips allowed? 

Yes. We recognise the significant benefits of educational visits for children’s educational development, as well as their mental health and wellbeing.

For primary and secondary schools, as well as sixth form colleges, domestic residential educational visits (e.g. school trips) must be conducted in line with all our relevant COVID-19 guidance, with groups (bubbles) maintained during these visits. We are taking steps to allow pupils to enjoy visits in line with the government’s roadmap.

We strongly recommend schools do not go on any international visits this academic year, and we’ll continue to review this as we approach September.

Will households be expected to continue taking LFD tests?

Pre-school children and primary aged pupils will not be tested with rapid lateral flow tests. Staff will continue to be tested to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

To find out more about testing in Primary Schools as well further guidance, please see here.

Secondary Schools and Sixth Form Colleges

What’s changed?

In secondary schools and sixth form colleges there will be some key changes to impact students and teachers. This includes our face coverings guidance, as well as access to indoor and outdoor sports settings.

Will pupils still need to wear face coverings in the classroom?

No. Pupils will no longer be required to wear face coverings in the classroom or communal areas in schools and colleges. We hope that after a difficult few months, this will improve interaction between teachers and students, making communication clearer and helping to support learning during those crucial last few months of term.

The reintroduction of face coverings for pupils, students or staff may be advised for a temporary period in response to localised outbreaks, including variants of concern. In all cases, any educational drawbacks should be balanced with the benefits of managing transmission.

Why has this changed?

We introduced face coverings into the classroom as a time when rates of COVID-19 were high in the community. Since Easter, the picture has continued to improve and prevalence of COVID-19 in school age children is at the lowest it has been since September. This was planned as a temporary precaution.

Will I need to wear a face covering travelling to and from school?

Children and young people aged 11 and over must still wear a face covering on public transport, and in accordance with advice from Public Health England (PHE), they must also wear a face covering when travelling on dedicated transport to secondary school or college (unless exempt).

Should pupils and families still be tested?

Yes. All secondary schools and colleges will continue to offer pupils COVID-19 testing (rapid lateral flow tests) to carry out at home.

While we strongly recommend pupils opt-in to testing, all pupils and students should attend school regardless of whether they are taking part or not.

Schools and colleges will also continue to offer testing on site so that pupils who aren't able to test themselves at home can still take part.

Will large school events like proms be possible in the summer term?

Schools should complete a thorough risk assessment before running any event through the summer term, this includes proms, leavers’ assemblies, transition days, open days and more. This is to ensure that they are run in line with our latest safety and control guidance for schools.

Can schools make their own rules and compel pupils to wear face coverings even if the rules haven’t changed in that area?

No pupil or student should be denied education on the grounds that they are not wearing a face covering. Some individuals are exempt from wearing face coverings and we expect staff and pupils to be sensitive to those needs.

Are school trips allowed?

Yes. Domestic trips are now allowed. Any trip must be conducted in line with relevant COVID-19 guidance and regulations in place at that time. We also suggest that schools should keep children within their consistent groups (bubbles) for the purpose of the visit.

Will in-person parents’ evenings be allowed?

In-person parents’ evenings will be able to go ahead, however schools must ensure that parents evenings operate within the Covid-19 safety guidelines.

Some schools however have benefited hugely from virtual parents' evenings, and we support schools in choosing which approach works best for them.

Please visit the links for more information on face coverings and testing.

Further Education

What’s changed?

In Further Education settings, step 3 of the roadmap means changes in our guidance on face coverings, educational visits, sports and physical activity, live performances, and public facing facilities.

Do students still need to wear face coverings?

No. Due to the low prevalence of COVID-19 among students, face coverings will no longer be recommended for FE staff or students in classrooms and communal areas. However, FE colleges and education providers may consider the use of face coverings where the teaching settings are more reflective of workplace environments, such as a training kitchen or media studio.

Could this change depending on where I live? 

As with schools, face coverings may be reintroduced in response to local circumstances, such as variants of concern or localised outbreaks. In all cases, any educational drawbacks should be balanced with the benefits of managing transmission and ensuring students and staff can work in a safe environment.

What about in communal areas – do I still need to wear face coverings?

We continue to recommend that face coverings should be worn by staff and visitors in situations outside of classrooms where social distancing is not possible. For example, this could mean when moving around corridors or communal areas.

We recognise that Further Education colleges are diverse and can include vocational and workplace training environments. In this case, it is up to colleges to provide advice to staff and students as to whether face coverings are required.

Face visors or shields should not be worn as an alternative to face coverings.

Will I need to wear a face covering travelling to and from college?

Children and young people aged 11 and over must still wear a face covering on public transport, and in accordance with advice from Public Health England (PHE), they must also wear a face covering when travelling on dedicated transport to secondary school or college (unless exempt). 

Can FE students under 18 participate in indoor sport and physical activity?

Students of all ages can access indoor or outdoor extra-curricular provision, including sport and physical activity. Activities which are not extra-curricular, for example a kickabout at lunch time, should continue to adhere to any restrictions in place in the wider community.

What about live performances?

Indoor and outdoor performances in front of live audiences can now take place provided that the latest performing arts advice from Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) is followed.

Can domestic visits take place?

Domestic educational residential visits can now take place; however, we recommend that trips are kept to a minimum and groups are limited to no more than 30 students to help manage transmission risks.

To find out more information about our guidance for further education settings, please see here.

Higher Education

What’s changed? 

All university students who haven’t yet returned to campus and in-person teaching are now able to do so.

A number of measures will also be in place to support students and universities manage the transition.

Do students have to wear face coverings?

Where social distancing or good ventilation is difficult to maintain, students can use face coverings as part of their wider COVID-secure measures (in addition to hand hygiene facilities and reduced access).

This can include in workshops, laboratories, offices, libraries, teaching rooms and lecture halls. Students may not wish to use face coverings where this would impact on the ability to take part in exercise or strenuous activity.

Is regular testing still happening? 

Yes - students are encouraged to test before they travel back to university, either through their local community testing programme or by ordering a free test online.

On arrival back at university, students and staff will be encouraged to take three supervised tests.

After their supervised tests, students will have ongoing access to home testing kits as part of onsite “university collect” distribution of tests in communal campus areas, as well as the nationwide government offer of free tests twice a week.

All tests will be free, and all students and staff who test positive from a test will need to self-isolate for 10 days, unless they receive a negative PCR test within two days.

This will mean that asymptomatic cases can be spotted and stopped from spreading the virus unknowingly.

What about if a student wants to go back home once they have returned to campus? 

After having returned to their term-time household, students must only return to their family or another household where this complies with wider social contact limits or an exception to those limits applies (for example if they need to move home temporarily because of illness or mental ill-health).

For more information on our guidance for higher education settings, please see here.

Sharing and comments

Share this page