Education, schools and childcare - Coronavirus update
For the remainder of the term, we're asking schools to continue with the safety measures currently in place to reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission.
On the advice of our public health team, schools will continue to follow their current risk assessments, COVID-secure processes, and procedures for contract tracing and reporting until the end of the current term.
This will help to reduce infection rates and transmission in schools before the summer break. This action has been taken by a number of councils where case numbers remain high.
We will continue to work with all of our schools over the summer holidays to ensure that the arrangements that are put in place for the new academic year, in respect of transport and attendance, take account of government guidance to reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission.
We will continue to liaise with our public health team in reviewing risk assessments and COVID-secure processes.
Until the end of term, schools and colleges have been asked to continue with the protective measures they have had in place throughout the school year. This is to help reduce the risks, and to ensure learning environments are as safe as possible for everyone. These include:
- ensuring that everyone cleans their hands frequently – including on arrival at school, when returning from breaks, and before and after eating
- promoting the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach to ensure good hygiene
- enhanced cleaning – including cleaning frequently touched surfaces more often
- staggering school start and finish times to ensure social distancing
- staggering lunch and break times
- reducing or removing the use of shared equipment
- introducing one way systems around buildings – including at entrances and exits
- managing any confirmed cases of coronavirus in line with current public health guidance
- high school pupils will be encouraged to wear face coverings at certain times on school premises and they must be worn on school or public transport - see the government's guidance about face coverings in education settings
Students will also be encouraged to minimise contact and maintain distance from others as much as possible. Each school will be different in their approach, but it will involve asking children and young people to:
- Stay within specified groups or ‘bubbles’
- Maintain distance between one another
We must all work together to help ease demand on our road and transport networks. We're urging parents, carers and pupils to consider active travel options like walking, cycling or scooting where possible, use public transport, and plan your journey ahead of time.
Walking, cycling and scooting are great ways to get around, while keeping active, on the school run.
By choosing to walk, cycle or scoot to school or work, instead of driving, you can help reduce the pressure on our road and transport networks - as well as improving your health and helping to protect our environment.
Think ahead - is your journey short enough to leave your car at home? Walking, cycling or scooting a short distance may be quicker than driving during busier times.
We are working to make it safer and easier for you to walk and cycle more. Find out more about how to cycle safely and view our new cycle map on our website.
School and public transport
If you travel to school or college by public bus, please remember to:
- plan ahead
- follow safety guidance
- try to avoid busy times
Operators have introduced safety measures on buses to support social distancing. Find out more about travelling by bus in Warrington on our website.
If travelling by bus, consider travelling outside of peak times as these services may be quieter.
Remember that timetable changes may also be in place, so leave a bit more time for your journey, and check before you travel.
If you’re aged 11 and over, you must wear a face covering on public transport to keep yourself and others safe. You should also wear a face covering when using school transport where possible. See the government's safer travel guidance for passengers for more information.
Plan your journey
Plan ahead and always check your travel options in advance. There may be an increase in the amount of traffic on the road at peak times, so make sure you check if there are any changes to routes in case of any temporary traffic or road restrictions.
If you're using public transport - plan ahead, visit traveline.info.
'School streets' scheme
Many schools across the borough experience a number of traffic related issues at the beginning and end of the school day. How schools manage pupils attending and leaving school in a COVID-secure environment has had an impact on the highways around schools.
We are piloting a new traffic management measure known as the ‘school streets' scheme to create more space around schools and improve road safety.
The ‘school streets’ scheme, launched on 30 November, will see the roads directly outside schools closed to traffic during school opening and closing times. This is to create a safer environment for children going to and from school.
The restrictions will be implemented at a number of schools that currently experience traffic issues and will be in effect for at least six months.
The rules mean that a road outside a school will temporarily close to traffic around the school’s opening and closing times, to create a predominantly car free zone. The scheme encourages active travel to school by walking and cycling, which in turn will help the environment by reducing congestion and pollution.
No vehicles will be able to enter the restricted zones between the times of operation, unless they have been given an exemption. Residents who live on the affected streets will be given a permit to display in their vehicles. This permit will enable residents to drive through the affected zones during the restricted times.
Parents or carers who are not able to walk or cycle to school can park their vehicle outside of the school street zone and complete the journey on foot.
Restriction times will be implemented Monday to Friday during term time, 8.25am – 9.10am and 2.10pm – 3.10pm.
The restrictions will first be implemented at St Andrews Primary School, Orford. The roads affected will be Mardale Avenue and Scafell Avenue.
Certain vehicles will be exempt from the school zone restrictions including:
- emergency services, doctors on call, district nurses, carers and support workers
- postal service vehicles serving properties within the restricted roads
- school buses and school transport serving the school within the restricted roads
- blue badge holders
- public transport
- taxis serving properties in the restricted zone
- school contract taxis
- funeral cortege
- tradespeople working within the restricted area
- any vehicle displaying a valid permit
If you require further information, please contact the traffic management team via email firstname.lastname@example.org
Early years, nursery and childminder provision
The My Life Warrington team can advise on available early years childcare places.
Unfortunately, due to the current situation, the places available are changing rapidly, for the most up to date information please call 01925 443131.
Parents and carers of pupils with SEND
We have established a page of frequently asked questions for parents and carers of pupils with SEND with advice and guidance on:
- education and assessments
- health services
- early help
- payments and budgets
Useful resources - My Life Warrington
There are some resources available to help you to talk to your child about school.
These include useful tips about how to cope if children feel anxious about the increased safety measures, or if they are feeling overwhelmed.
Visit the My Life Warrington website for more information.