Going to school, college and university
Schools and colleges will remain open during term time in Tier 4 areas. The government will continue to prioritise the wellbeing and long-term futures of our young people. It remains very important for children and young people to attend, to support their wellbeing and education and help working parents and guardians. Senior clinicians still advise that school is the best place for children to be, and so they should continue to go to school during term time.
We expect that the majority of university students, other than those who need or choose to remain at university, will now have returned to their family home during the ‘student travel window’, , although they are permitted to temporarily move to a “vacation household” during the period that began on 3 December up to 7 February. We have published guidance on how they can do so safely.
We have also published guidance to universities and students on how students can return safely to higher education in the spring term. This guidance sets out how we will support higher education providers to enable students to return as safely as possible following the winter break, by staggering this process and to facilitate testing for all.
If you live at university, you should not move back and forward between your permanent home and student home during term time.
Universities should follow guidance on reopening buildings to ensure they have safety measures in place to minimise the spread of the virus.
If you’re a student, you can meet in groups of more than your household as part of your formal education or training. Students should expect to follow the guidance and restrictions. You should socially distance from anyone you do not live with wherever possible.
The Government has confirmed that all secondary schools and colleges in England will be offered help, support and facilities to implement an additional round of free coronavirus testing from the first week of January.
This will be alongside a staggered return to face-to-face education in secondary schools, starting with exam years, vulnerable children and children of critical workers.
The offer of tests builds on the extensive protective measures already in place in schools and colleges to make them safe, as well as the government’s recent announcement that every secondary school and college in England will have access to rapid testing from January.
In schools and colleges where year 7 and above are educated, face coverings should be worn by adults (staff and visitors) and pupils when moving around indoors, such as in corridors and communal areas where social distancing is difficult to maintain.