21 February 2022

On 21 February, the Prime Minister set out the next phase of the Government’s COVID-19 response. COVID-19 continues to be a virus that we learn to live with and the imperative to reduce the disruption to children and young people’s education remains.

From 21 February, staff and pupils in mainstream secondary schools will not be expected to continue taking part in regular asymptomatic testing and should follow asymptomatic testing advice for the general population.

If you suspect your child has symptoms for COVID-19, please visit the following Government website for information about testing and isolation.

Government Guidance COVID-19

20 January 2022

Yesterday, the Prime Minister announced that all Plan B measures will be removed in England, with a full return to Plan A by Thursday 27 January.

In education and childcare settings, this means:

From today, Thursday 20 January, face coverings are no longer recommended in classrooms and teaching spaces for staff, and pupils and students in year 7 and above. They were introduced in classrooms at the start of the spring term as a temporary measure.

From Thursday 27 January, face coverings are no longer recommended in communal areas for staff, and pupils and students in year 7 and above.

This decision comes in response to national infection data showing the prevalence of COVID-19 to be on a downward trajectory. Whilst there are some groups where cases are likely to continue rising, it is likely that the Omicron wave has now peaked nationally. There remains significant pressure on the NHS but hospital admissions have stabilised, and the number of patients in Intensive Care Units (ICU) remain low and are falling.

This means it is right we remove the most stringent restrictions around wearing face coverings from education, but the virus is still with us, and continuing with proportionate protective measures remains vital to protect education.