Education, schools and childcare - Coronavirus update
Returning to schools and colleges - Autumn term
Schools and colleges across Warrington are looking forward to welcoming pupils back for the new school year from September. Since last term, we’ve moved to the final step of the government’s roadmap, moving away from restrictions towards offering advice and guidance about how you can protect yourself and others, aided by the local vaccination programme.
As schools and colleges re-open, it is vital that we continue to do all we can to reduce disruption to education. The risk of transmission of coronavirus in education settings and the risk of severe illness in children and young people is low.
We also know that there are significant harms associated with missed education, so it is a local and national priority that we deliver face-to-face, high-quality education to all pupils. It is important that we work together to keep educational settings as safe as possible, acknowledging we are all learning to live with the virus.
Ensuring schools and nurseries are safe
From September, following government guidance, Warrington schools will ensure the following safety measures are in place:
- Continuing the good hygiene practices we have all been following throughout the pandemic
- Maintaining appropriate building cleaning regimes
- Keeping occupied spaces well ventilated
- Following public health advice on testing, self-isolation and management of confirmed cases of COVID-19
It is no longer a requirement for ‘bubbles’ or the need for schools and colleges to contact trace, but they remain a measure which could be reintroduced in some situations.
The government has removed the requirement to wear face coverings. This means that face coverings are no longer advised for pupils, staff and visitors, either in classrooms or in communal areas. However, they are still recommended in enclosed and crowded spaces where you may be contact with people you don’t normally meet. This includes public transport and dedicated transport to school or college.
We must all work together to help ease demand on our road and transport networks. We're urging parents, carers and pupils to consider active travel options like walking, cycling or scooting where possible, use public transport, and plan your journey ahead of time.
Walking, cycling and scooting are great ways to get around, while keeping active, on the school run.
By choosing to walk, cycle or scoot to school or work, instead of driving, you can help reduce the pressure on our road and transport networks - as well as improving your health and helping to protect our environment.
Think ahead - is your journey short enough to leave your car at home? Walking, cycling or scooting a short distance may be quicker than driving during busier times.
We are working to make it safer and easier for you to walk and cycle more. Find out more about how to cycle safely and view our new cycle map on our website.
School and public transport
If you travel to school or college by public bus, please remember to:
- plan ahead
- follow safety guidance
- try to avoid busy times
Operators have safety measures in place on buses to help keep passengers as safe as possible. Find out more about travelling by bus in Warrington on our website.
If travelling by bus, consider travelling outside of peak times as these services may be quieter. Remember that timetable changes may also be in place, so leave a bit more time for your journey, and check before you travel.
If you’re aged 11 and over, it is advised that you continue to wear a face covering on school or public transport to keep yourself and others safe. See the government's safer travel guidance for passengers for more information.
Plan your journey
Plan ahead and always check your travel options in advance. There may be an increase in the amount of traffic on the road at peak times, so make sure you check if there are any changes to routes in case of any temporary traffic or road restrictions.
If you're using public transport - plan ahead, visit traveline.info.
'School streets' scheme
Many schools across the borough experience a number of traffic related issues at the beginning and end of the school day. How schools manage pupils attending and leaving school in a COVID-secure environment has had an impact on the highways around schools.
We are piloting a traffic management measure known as the 'school streets' scheme to create more space around schools and improve road safety. The scheme has been implemented at a number of schools that have reported traffic issues.
The ‘school streets’ scheme sees the roads directly outside schools closed to traffic during school opening and closing times. This is to create a safer environment for children going to and from school.
The rules mean that a road outside a school will temporarily close to traffic around the school’s opening and closing times, to create a predominantly car free zone. The scheme encourages active travel to school by walking and cycling, which in turn will help the environment by reducing congestion and pollution.
No vehicles will be able to enter the restricted zones between the times of operation, unless they have been given an exemption. Residents who live on the affected streets will be given a permit to display in their vehicles. This permit will enable residents to drive through the affected zones during the restricted times.
Parents or carers who are not able to walk or cycle to school can park their vehicle outside of the school street zone and complete the journey on foot.
Restriction times will be implemented Monday to Friday during term time, 8.25am – 9.10am and 2.10pm – 3.10pm.
The restrictions have been implemented at St Andrews Primary School, Orford. The roads affected are Mardale Avenue and Scafell Avenue.
Certain vehicles will be exempt from the school zone restrictions including:
- emergency services, doctors on call, district nurses, carers and support workers
- postal service vehicles serving properties within the restricted roads
- school buses and school transport serving the school within the restricted roads
- blue badge holders
- public transport
- taxis serving properties in the restricted zone
- school contract taxis
- funeral cortege
- tradespeople working within the restricted area
- any vehicle displaying a valid permit
If you require further information, please contact the traffic management team via email firstname.lastname@example.org
Early years, nursery and childminder provision
The My Life Warrington team can advise on available early years childcare places.
The places available can change rapidly, so for the most up to date information please call 01925 443131.
Parents and carers of pupils with SEND
More information about education and assessments, transport, health services, early help, and payments and budgets can be viewed on Warrington's Local Offer website - Ask Ollie.
Useful resources - My Life Warrington
There are some resources available to help you to talk to your child about school. These include useful tips about how to cope if children feel anxious, or if they are feeling overwhelmed.