Do I have to send my child to school?
School and college attendance is mandatory. The legal duty on parents and carers of children of compulsory school age to send their children to school regularly will apply.
It is vital that children and young people attend school and college for their educational progress, for their wellbeing, and for their wider development. Parents and carers are strongly encouraged to send their children to school from the day that the child’s school is open. Anyone who has concerns about their child returning should speak directly to their school.
For pupils who have been shielding but who are no longer required to, and who remain under the care of a specialist health professional, parents may need to discuss their care with their health professional before returning to school (usually at their next planned clinical appointment). You can find more advice from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health's shielding guidance for children and young people.
We understand that some pupils, parents and households may be reluctant or anxious about sending their child to school. This may include pupils who have themselves been shielding previously but who have been advised that this is no longer necessary, those living in households where someone is clinically vulnerable, or those concerned about the comparatively increased risk from coronavirus (COVID-19), including:
- those from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds; or
- who have certain conditions such as diabetes or where the child has additional risk factors, such as being overweight.
We recommend that for parents of pupils with significant risk factors, they discuss their concerns with the school, and seek reassurance of the measures the schools are putting in place to reduce the risk in school.
We anticipate that there will be cases where an individualised risk assessment can be undertaken which results in a plan for the child to safely attend school.