Schools information for parents/carers

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Going to school or college

Schools and colleges have reopened.

Families with children in school or college are advised to test themselves twice a week from home. Free tests will be provided to pupils' households and to those in their childcare or support bubbles. 

Read more about testing for households and bubbles of school pupils and staff

Parents and carers should contact their child's school directly if they have any questions relating to: 

  • attending school (if you are a critical or key worker or your child is vulnerable or in an exam year for secondary schools and colleges) 
  • receiving remote home learning 
  • free school meals for eligible children 


All university students on practical or practice-based subjects (including creative arts) who require specialist facilities and equipment can return for face-to-face study, if this is set up by their provider.

Remaining students should continue to study online, which will help to reduce transmission of COVID-19.

​Students returning to face-to-face education after negative tests must still exercise caution and follow national guidance on social distancing, wearing face coverings and hand hygiene.

More information is available on the government website


In the current circumstances, it is not possible for exams in the summer to go ahead as planned. The Department for Education will accordingly be working with Ofqual to consult rapidly to put in place alternative arrangements that will allow students to progress fairly.


There are several ways that parents and carers can continue to access childcare:

  • early years settings (including nurseries and childminders) remain open
  • childminders should continue to allow children to attend as normal, except for school-aged children; childminders caring for school-aged children (including reception children) should only admit vulnerable children and children of critical workers
  • Vulnerable children and children of critical workers can continue to use registered childcare, childminders and other childcare activities (including wraparound care)
  • parents are able to form a childcare bubble with 1 other household for the purposes of informal childcare, where the child is under 14 - this is mainly to enable parents to work, and must not be used to enable social contact between adults
  • some households will also be able to benefit from being in a support bubble
  • nannies will be able to continue to provide services, including in the home
Page last updated: 29 Mar 2021