Steps taken to keep schools safe

Published: Friday, September 3, 2021

With all pupils now back in the classroom, Wandsworth Council is reassuring parents that measures are being taken to keep their children safe.  

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Children are at very low risk of becoming seriously ill from Covid-19 and school attendance is now mandatory for all pupils of compulsory school age.  

Recent Public Health England data suggest that adult vaccinations and the rapid asymptomatic testing programme have contributed to reducing the risk of infection in schools. 

By October half term all teaching professionals in Wandsworth should have been offered both doses of the vaccine. 16 and 17-year-olds and children aged 12 to 15 with specific underlying health conditions or who live with at-risk individuals are now eligible for the vaccine. Fully vaccinated adults and under 18s  – regardless of vaccine status – will not need to self-isolate and this will help to improve attendance and lessen the impact on education and learning. 

Secondary schools and further education colleges have also brought in an asymptomatic testing regime, with children taking a test on-site at the start of term, and then testing twice weekly at home. 

Schools will continue to update contingency plans, and maintain good ventilation and cleaning and hygiene regimes. The Department of Education has pledged to make carbon dioxide monitors available to schools to help improve ventilation and lessen the risk of infections. 

“The benefits of going to school far outweigh any risks from Covid-19, and we will continue to support schools to help ensure children don’t miss out on any more of their education,” said the council’s education spokesman Cllr Will Sweet.  

“We will help them to communicate clearly and consistently with parents, and to identify pupils who are anxious about returning to school. Our education team will work with schools to put measures in place, and use the funding available to them, for families who may need additional support.”  

Read information from the Government for parents and carers.

As well as supporting schools to stay safe, Wandsworth Council has launched a £2m education recovery plan to help children and young people recover from the pandemic, return to learning and training and boost their job prospects. 

The roadmap incorporates five key foundation stones that will provide a comprehensive package of support for the borough’s children and young people including tutoring and mentoring, healthy minds, sports and arts, access to digital tech and employability. Find out more.