Education update: COVID-19 delays school returns

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Following the government announcement on 30 December, the return to school for secondary, post-16 and primary school students in Beckenham and the wider Bromley borough has been delayed.

The decision has been made due to the high prevalence of coronavirus in the borough and to limit the spread of the virus in educational settings and the wider community. Families are being asked to help ensure their children are following the rules of Tier 4 and that no-one should attend education or childcare if they have symptoms or are self-isolating due to symptoms in their family.

Further details on school returns are set out below.

Secondary schools and colleges

From 4 January schools and colleges will be preparing to test staff and pupils for coronavirus. At very short notice, schools have been asked to make provision for on-site education for vulnerable children, children of critical workers. Remote learning will be prioritised for pupils in exam years.

From 11 January secondary schools and colleges in Bromley will provide on-site education for those in exam years. All other secondary pupils will be provided with remote education.

Secondary pupils and college students will return to on-site education from 18 January.

More information will be available shortly from your school/college or on its website.

Primary schools

Bromley primary schools are among the small number that have been asked to restrict access to children of critical workers and vulnerable children from the start of term and provide remote education for all other pupils.

The restrictions will be kept under review by the government and will be lifted as soon as the public health and scientific advice says it is appropriate to do so.

Parents and carers are advised to contact their nursery if connected to a primary school. Click here to find out more about the government education guidelines.

School meals

Schools should provide meal options for all pupils who are in school and meals should be available free of charge to all infant pupils and pupils who meet the free school meals eligibility criteria. Schools should also continue to provide school meal vouchers or food parcels for eligible pupils who are not attending school where they:

  • are self-isolating
  • have had symptoms or a positive test result themselves
  • are a close contact of someone who has coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • are not attending as a result of implementation of local restrictions advised by government

Early years

The government guidance states its expectation that early years settings (including childminders and nurseries) should continue to allow all children to attend as normal. School-based nurseries in primary schools have discretion to follow arrangements for the primary school.

Bromley has a large number of small private and independent settings and childminders and you should contact your setting directly for details of how it is responding to the guidance.

Technology for remote learning

The government has issued guidance to schools on getting help with technology for remote education. Schools are able to access laptops and internet routers directly from the government for disadvantaged pupils. You should contact the school for further details.

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