Please click on the links below for advice about homeschooling, and the latest information about schools during the coronavirus outbreak:

This information was last updated on 17 December 2021.

Guidance as of Thursday 9 December

Close contacts in schools are now identified by NHS Test and Trace and education settings will no longer be expected to undertake contact tracing. As with positive cases in any other setting, NHS Test and Trace will work with the positive case and/or their parent to identify close contacts. Contacts from a school setting will only be traced by NHS Test and Trace where the positive case or their parent specifically identifies the individual as being a close contact. This is likely to be a small number of individuals who would be most at risk of contracting COVID-19 due to the nature of the close contact. You may be contacted in exceptional cases to help with identifying close contacts, as currently happens in managing other infectious diseases. 

From 14 December 2021, adults who are fully vaccinated and all children and young people aged between 5 and 18 years and 6 months identified as a contact of someone with COVID-19 are strongly advised to take a LFD test every day for 7 days and continue to attend their setting as normal, unless they have a positive test result. Daily testing of close contacts applies to all contacts who are: 

  • fully vaccinated adults – people who have had 2 doses of an approved vaccine 
  • all children and young people aged 5 to 18 years and 6 months, regardless of their vaccination status 
  • people who are not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons • people taking part, or have taken part, in an approved clinical trial for a COVID-19 vaccine 

Children under 5 years are exempt from self-isolation and do not need to take part in daily testing of close contacts. 

Pupils with SEND identified as close contacts should be supported by their school and their families to agree the most appropriate route for testing including, where appropriate, additional support to assist swabbing. For further information please see SEND guidance.

Protective measures will remain in place for the spring term in all education settings including: 

  • practicing good hygiene - regular hand cleansing/“catch it, bin it”
  • ventilation
  • enhanced cleaning
  • regular testing (for staff and pupils in Year 7 and above).
  • Other measures may need to be reintroduced within a school/setting if there is an outbreak of Covid.
  • ​Each school/setting has a Covid risk assessment specific to their site so protective measures may vary from site to site. 

Onsite tests should be taken by each secondary school student on return, followed by twice weekly testing at home. The Government will review testing requirements in time.  

Coronavirus (Covid-19) Vaccinations for 12-15 year olds 

From Monday, 20 December, children aged 12 to 15 years will be able to book a 1st or 2nd dose of the Covid-19 vaccine via the national booking system.

Book a vaccination here.

Please note: Consent to treatment is an important part of the process. 12 to 15 years will need to be accompanied by a consenting parent or guardian. 


Advice for children aged 12 to 15 years old and their parents or guardians

A set of COVID-19 vaccination resources for children and young people are available on GOV.UK in a variety of languages, Braille and Easy Read. These resources are to help children, young people and their parents or guardians make a decision about whether to get vaccinated.
There's also a list of pre-screening questions on GOV.UK to help you and your child consider what is likely to be asked at your appointment. You do not need to complete this before you go.


Vaccinations in schools 

Schools will be visited again in the new year to provide a 2nd dose of the vaccine to those who had their first dose during the autumn term. 
This will also offer an opportunity for those who have not yet had the vaccine, but wish to, to get their first dose. More details will be available via your school in the new year. 


Clinically Extremely Vulnerable  

All Clinically Extremely Vulnerable children and young people should attend their education setting unless they are one of the very small number of children and young people under paediatric or other specialist care who have been advised by their GP or clinician not to attend.  
Schools have appropriate arrangements in place to comply with national guidance on supporting pupils at school with medical conditions.   


Awarding qualifications

The Department for Education have also announced how students will be assessed and awarded their GCSE, AS and A levels this year. Students will sit examinations but those examaminations will be adjusted to take into account the dsruption pupils have faced. Fairness and flexibility are at the heart of plans to ensure young people can progress to the next stage of education or career.
Further details on teacher-assessed grades can be found here.


Index of information on this page

Keeping our families, children and young people safe remains a priority. Please see below for more information on symptoms, testing and self-isolation.

We know that parents and schools are finding it difficult to work out which symptoms warrant testing for COVID-19. We acknowledge that this is not straightforward, and it is a really challenging time for parents and schools. Outlined below are the most common COVID-19 symptoms.

COVID-19 symptoms

If your child (or anyone in the household) has any of the main coronavirus symptoms listed below they need to self-isolate and get a test.

Only children with any of these symptoms need a COVID-19 test: 
  • New continuous cough 
Your child needs tested if they have a cough that has lasted for more than an hour, if they have had three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours, or if they are coughing more than usual. The cough is usually dry.
  • Fever/high temperature
A high temperature is feeling hot to the touch on your chest or back. If a thermometer is available take the temperature – a high temperature is 37.8C or higher. Your child may feel warm, cold or shivery.
  • Loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste
This means your child has noticed they cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal.


If your child is in Year 7 or above, it is likely that they are already taking regular Lateral Flow Device tests. The LFD tests should not be used by children at primary school or nursery school.

Further information on testing can be found here.

Find out more about the different types of testing by using these handy flowcharts:

Self-isolation and support

If you or your child is required to self-isolate, you may be entitled to a Test and Trace Support Payment.
If you need support, click here for information.
Free School Meals are still available for those who are eligible.

This information was last updated on 16 July 2021.

Free are still available for those who are eligible. If you as a parent or carer are unsure what is in place for your child(ren) please contact their school directly. If you are not in receipt of free school meals already but think your child(ren) may be eligible, please apply for free school meals here

If you're not eligible and feeling financial pressures we're here to support, please contact Northumberland Communities Together.

Phone the Northumberland Communities Together Response Hub on 01670 620015 9am-6pm, 7 days a week
National Government guidance is changing as the situation evolves and we can all expect it to continue to do so.

This page was last updated on the 29 November 2021

Government guidance is published here. Given the news of a new variant - the so-called omicron variant - the Government have made a point of emphasising that "pupils or students (in year 7 or above) should continue to wear face coverings on public and dedicated school transport, unless they are exempt".
Please see our resource below for useful websites and guides for students, parents/carers, and professionals who work with young people:

Please click here for more information about the DfE COVID-19 Device Scheme
The latest information and resources from the Virtual School during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

This information was last updated on 18 January 2022.

The following links are for attendance leads, Designated Safeguarding Leads and Designated Teachers: The following links are for Designated Safeguarding Leads: The following links are for Designated Teachers:

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