Schools and learning

You can visit the government website if you wish to refer to the latest national guidance regarding education and childcare for school staff, parents, carers and students.

Returning to schools and education settings from March 2021 HIDE

Last updated: 5 March 2021

After remaining open throughout the current lockdown for vulnerable children and children of critical workers, schools and education settings across Southampton are making preparations to safely welcome more children back from Monday 8 March, in line with the government’s roadmap out of the current lockdown.

Southampton City Council and Public Health England have been working alongside school leaders and staff to make sure that pupils and staff are as safe as possible when they return. For secondary schools and colleges, this includes mandatory lateral flow COVID testing for each student and teacher prior to reopening.

There will be a staggered return for most secondary schools and colleges to allow for testing systems to be established. Primary and Special Schools and Early Years settings will have access to the same twice-weekly testing regime for staff, though primary and early years aged children are not asked to be tested.

Schools in Southampton are communicating with parents and carers directly regarding arrangements for reopening and testing.

Other safety measures that will be employed across all education settings include the use of social distancing measures and frequent hand-washing, good classroom ventilation, and the wearing of face coverings in secondary schools and colleges.

Testing to support the return of schools

To help keep schools and the wider communities safe, the council is encouraging residents and workers in Southampton who have sustained contact with children and young people, to participate in twice-weekly testing to support the safe return of children and young people to schools and colleges, and to help reduce the transmission of COVID-19 in the community.

From Saturday 6 March households, childcare and support bubbles with children, young people or teaching and support staff attending early years, schools or college, can access lateral flow tests through the council’s symptom-free testing sites. A link to the booking system is available from the council’s website, with details on the locations and times of operation for each site. Testing will be available 7 days a week and slots must be booked in advance.

Members of households, childcare or support bubbles of school staff and pupils can also collect home test kits from DHSC run testing sites to self-test and record at home, and order lateral flow device home test kits online, though online ordering should only be used by those that cannot get a test through the other methods.

Because not enough is known about how well the vaccines reduce transmission of infection from one person to another, those who have already been vaccinated should still engage in symptom-free testing.

Councillor Darren Paffey, Cabinet Member for Children and Learning, said:

“These have been difficult times for our young learners and I’d like to say a huge thank you to them, and their parents and carers, for their efforts at home schooling since the start of the year.

“Returning to school is important for young people’s academic and personal development and, while it’s understandable that there might be some anxieties, the Council has been in constant dialogue with school leaders, staff, public health experts and trade unions, who have all worked immensely hard to prepare for pupils returning as safely as possible.

“With schools doing everything they can to keep their staff, pupils and families safe, it’s also crucial that we all play our part. So I encourage everyone who is eligible for the COVID testing that is on offer to get tested, so that we can all help to reduce transmission and protect our school communities.

“To all of you returning from Monday and beyond, welcome back – you’ve been missed!”

Jason Ashley, Headteacher at Redbridge Secondary School and local representative for the ASCL teaching union, said:

“In schools and colleges we’re looking forward to welcoming all pupils back, and want to reassure families that all the measures put in place with colleagues from education, health and unions means that we’ve done everything we can to keep our school communities safe”.

COVID-19 cases in Southampton early years settings, schools and colleges HIDE

Last updated: 13 April 2021

In the table below, you can find the weekly number of confirmed COVID-19 cases across all educational settings in Southampton. 'Educational settings' include early years settings (for example, nurseries and childminders), primary and secondary schools, further education colleges and sixth forms.

Note that the weekly figure refers to the number of individual children, pupils and staff who have tested positive for COVID-19.

All educational settings across Southampton continue to take preventative measures to keep their communities safe. Where there has been a confirmed case of COVID-19, staff have taken swift action, supported by the council and Public Health England, to curb the spread of infection and limit disruption to vital learning.

Week Number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in educational settings
5 - 11 April 2021 5
29 March - 4 April 2021 28
22-28 March 2021 31
15-21 March 2021 47
8-14 March 2021 35
1-7 March 2021 9

22-28 February 2021

15-21 February 2021 19
8-14 February 2021 23
1-7 February 2021 40
25-31 January 2021 48
18-24 January 2021 57
11-17 January 2021 55
21 December 2020 - 10 January 2021 148
14-20 December 2020  38
7-13 December 2020 40
30 November - 6 December 2020 29
23-29 November 2020 32
16-22 November 2020 70
9-15 November 2020 71
2-8 November 2020 66

Schools crossing patrols HIDE

Last updated: 5 January 2021

Due to the national lockdown, school crossing patrols have been suspended.

Winter Food Voucher Scheme HIDE

If you are a Southampton resident currently struggling over the winter period and have children who live with you, you may be able to access additional support through the food voucher scheme.

Families who currently qualify for free school meals will be provided with this support through their child's early years setting, school or college.

Find out more about the Winter Food Voucher Scheme.

Does my child need a coronavirus test and should they stay off school? HIDE

Last updated: 24 September 2020

When should children get tested for coronavirus?

Children can get coronavirus (COVID-19) but the majority of children have mild symptoms. The most common symptoms are fever and cough.

If your child has ANY of the coronavirus symptoms below, please book them a test via the NHS website and do not send them into school.

The main symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • a high temperature, OR
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot, for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours, OR
  • a loss or change to sense of smell or taste – this means they cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

What about other colds and other symptoms?

Parents only need to get a test for their child if the child has ANY of the coronavirus symptoms or has been asked to get tested. This will help make sure people who need a test can get one.

If your child DOES NOT have symptoms of COVID-19 but has other cold-like symptoms, such as a runny nose or sneezing, they do not need to be tested and they or members of your household do not need to self-isolate. Your child can attend school if fit to do so.

If you need more advice

Parents should get advice from NHS 111 if they are worried about their child or not sure what to do.