Back to school – what you need to know

Pupils across Merton are beginning to return to early year’s providers, schools and colleges after their summer breaks, but COVID-19 hasn’t gone away, so there will still be some measures in place to avoid the spread of the virus. 

Regular testing remains important to reduce the risk of spreading infection. Good hand hygiene, regular cleaning and keeping rooms ventilated will also be key to keeping everyone safe. 

There will be some changes to the restrictions that were in place before the summer holiday, as young people look forward to getting back to a more normal way of learning. 

Secondary school and college students are advised to take two on-site LFD COVID-19 tests at school when they return (3-5 days apart), followed by twice weekly testing at home.  

All 16 and 17-year-olds in England are now eligible for their first COVID-19 vaccine dose. Anyone in this age group can now find their nearest centre through the ‘grab a jab’ NHS online walk-in finder.  

The NHS will also contact 12 to 15 year-olds to receive the vaccine if they were previously considered clinically extremely vulnerable, have an underlying health condition or may live with an individual who is immunosuppressed. 

Schools and other children’s settings have been communicating with parents explaining the latest COVID guidance in schools and what they can do to support their child’s return to school.