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Keeping our school communities safe: Covid-19 guidance for parents and carers

Covid-19 guidance for parents/carers (of children in Early Years and Schools)

Updated on 20 January 2022 (tests and facemasks): 


  • All pupils were asked to do two lateral flow tests before returning to school this term. Government advice also recommends that students, teachers and school staff should take a lateral flow test at home twice a week.
  • From 11 January, anyone testing positive with a lateral flow device and without Covid-19 symptoms will no longer have to take a PCR test to confirm the infection. They should self-isolate immediately and report their result on and inform their school, education or childcare setting. Everyone else in their household should also take a test and self-isolate. 
  • Anyone who develops one of the three main Covid-19 symptoms - a cough, a fever or a loss of taste or smell - must still take a PCR test as soon as possible, and should stay at home and self-isolate while they wait for the result.


From Thursday 20 January, it will not be mandatory for secondary school staff or pupils to wear a face covering in the classroom.

From Thursday 27 January, no one will be required to wear a face covering, including in communal areas of schools, but we recommend you continue to wear one on public transport and in any crowded and indoor spaces where you may come into contact with people you do not normally meet.

Until then, secondary schools pupils (in year 7 and above) should continue to wear face coverings in classrooms, communal areas, public transport and on dedicated school transport.

Staff and visitors in all educational settings should wear face coverings in shared spaces, including primary schools and nurseries. Face coverings help to protect the person wearing the covering and others around them against the spread of Covid-19 infection as they cover the nose and mouth, which are the main confirmed sources of transmission of Covid-19.

Get more information

For more information on how to get a test visit our Get a Covid-19 test page

Advice on Covid-19 tests is available on the NHS website

The NHS website also offers advice on when you should self-isolate and for how long. 

School is the best place for children and young people to develop and learn and is crucial for their overall wellbeing and development. But please do not send your children to nursery or school if your child has symptoms of coronavirus or has tested positive and has not yet completed their self-isolation period.

Contact tracing 

Anyone aged under 18 can now complete contact tracing forms online with their parent or guardian. This replaces contact by phone to parents or guardians to log close contacts. The new system will give parents and guardians access to an online form on, which means they can log close contacts at any point during their child’s self-isolation period ensuring they receive appropriate public health advice. 

Vaccines for 12-17 year olds

The Covid-19 vaccination is being offered to all 12-17-year-olds to help protect them from catching and passing on Covid-19. You can find out more about the vaccination on the local NHS website.

All children aged 12 to 15 can:

If your child is aged 16 or 17 they can visit a walk-in clinic or use the NHS online booking service.

For more information on accessing the vaccine visit our Covid-19 vaccines page

Other information 

The flu vaccine is also being offered in school to all primary school children and all secondary school children in years 7 to 11. If your child missed their flu vaccination in school community catch-up clinics are at locations around the borough. Call 020 8017 7926 for an appointment. More information is listed on our flu webpage.

Protective measures remain in place in all school and early years’ settings, including practising good hygiene, cleaning, ventilation, and regular Covid-19 testing to keep staff and pupils safe and minimise the risk of further disruption to children’s education.

Local authorities, Directors of Public Health and Public Health England protection teams can recommend extra measures for individual education and childcare settings as part of their outbreak management responsibilities. If this is the case, parents and carers will be told that Islington Council is implementing a local response to an outbreak.

Thank you for your help as we continue to respond to the challenges of Covid-19. It remains our priority to keep the school and early years’ communities safe and we are grateful for your continued support to keep children and families safe. Islington schools are a great place for your children to be.

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