Coronavirus closed schools in the UK in March, with parents, asked to homeschool their children at the height of the pandemic. While the children of key workers could still attend lessons, for many September is the first time in schools for several months.
Schools have had to adapt to a new way of teaching due to COVID-19, with social distancing, school class or year group bubbles, and wearing masks when moving around the school.
Frequent hand washing is encouraged, classrooms have been rearranged to have forward-facing desks and staff are told to keep as much distance from pupils and other staff as possible.
Start and end times are being staggered to avoid children arriving in groups, with assemblies also cancelled unless for specific groups or bubbles within the school.
If children are presenting with the symptoms of coronavirus, parents are advised to keep them off school.
Can I send my child to school with a cold?
Current guidance from the NHS states if a child has mild cold-like symptoms they should continue to go to school.
However, if these symptoms are a new and persistent cough or high temperature, they should be kept from school.
If anyone in the household has the above symptoms, children should not attend school.
Schools are advised to send any child or staff member home if they develop a continuous cough or fever, and those who are sent home should follow the guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus.
Will schools remain open if coronavirus cases are declared?
Since reopening last week, some schools have reported outbreaks in cases, with most recently three schools around Middlesbrough, North East England reporting cases.
Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council said on Sunday a positive case had been recorded at St Benedict’s RC Primary School.
However, they added the school, in Redcar, will remain open and parents had been provided with advice.
St Aidan’s CE Primary School, in Hartlepool, said in a Facebook post to parents it also had a confirmed COVID-19 case.
And Outwood Academy Ormesby, Middlesbrough, said in a short statement that a confirmed case had been found “within the school community”.
In a statement to parents on Sunday, St Aidan’s CE Primary School’s headteacher, Lynn Chambers, said the “individual” who tested positive was sent home after they showed symptoms.
She said: “Public Health England advised that as no child had been in close contact with the individual there was no need for any child to stay at home or self-isolate as a result.”
Outwood Academy Ormesby, in Netherfields, Middlesbrough, said the person who tested positive did not contract the virus at the secondary school.
In a Facebook post on Sunday, it said: “We have worked with experts from Public Health England to take all of the steps we need to and have already identified all those who need to stay at home and self-isolate.
“If we have not already spoken directly to you about this, then your child does not need to make any change to their usual routine, including attending school.
“To be clear, your child should attend school as normal unless you have already been contacted directly to advise that they should self isolate.”