We completely understand and appreciate your worries and concerns about the possibility of schools re-opening during this current pandemic. We have pulled together some frequently asked questions from parents and families regarding the re-opening of schools in Doncaster to hopefully address some of your questions.
As this is a continually changing picture, we will add to these questions as we receive further information and will provide regular updates when possible on our website and social media channels.
There may be some questions that we can’t answer and will be best directed to your child’s/children’s school. If you do you have an urgent question which is not answered below, you can fill in the form at the bottom of this page and we will try to add this to the list of questions as soon as we can.
- Director of Public Health letter to schools - 28th May 2020
- Mayor's recommendation to schools - 22nd May 2020
Frequently asked questions
Health and safety
What health and safety practices will there be in schools, will staff and pupils have/need to wear PPE?
All schools in Doncaster are submitting their own individual health and safety assessments to us as a council who will review them, and there will not be a ‘one size fits all’ approach to this. For specific details, speak to your child’s/children’s schools directly. It is the school’s responsibility to conduct and carry out the assessments and any actions arising from them.
What are the consequences of not sending my child/children back to school?
Will my child have the same teacher/classroom/classmates as before?
This will be a decision each individual school will make, however, due to the need to limit the class numbers for health and safety reasons, there is likely to be an element of disruption for your child/children. Class sizes will also depend on the size of the school and their classrooms.
School travel, holidays and after school clubs
Will after school/breakfast clubs be running?
Will the school holidays still be taking place?
How will my child get to school if the buses are not running their usual service?
Currently, the Government advice remains that we should avoid public transport wherever possible and would encourage parents to accompany their children to school, whether that is driving, walking or cycling. We completely understand that for many families this isn’t possible. If this is the case please speak to your child’s/children’s school for support.
Children of key workers and vulnerable children
I am a key worker but haven’t sent my child to school during lockdown. If I return to work but my child isn’t in F1, F2, YR 1 or YR6, can I now send my child to school?
Yes – as it has been throughout the current pandemic, school places are open to all children of key workers and vulnerable children. Speak to your child’s/children’s school for more information.
Who is a vulnerable child?
A vulnerable child could include any child that has an EHCP (Education, Health and Care Plan), an allocated social worker or a child protection plan. Other children do also fall within the ‘vulnerable child’ category on an individual case basis.
Why are you not making sure that all the vulnerable children are going to school?
Throughout the pandemic, ALL children classed as vulnerable have been offered a place at schools. We have been doing all we can to encourage families to take up that place, but this is down to each family’s decision. We will continue to work with families on this.
School re-opening plans, fines and catching Up
Will my child be back in full-time school?
With each school being very different, the offer of a return to school will also be different. This is due to different logistical issues being dealt with by schools, such as schools size, classroom size, staffing and other factors.
As you can understand, where a school’s places may be limited for these reasons, priority will be given to the children of key workers and vulnerable children. This may mean that your child will be offered a return on a part-time basis, such as 1-2 days a week.
Other school year groups which are identified by the government – nursery, reception, Year 1 and Year 6 will also be prioritised and your child’s/children’s school will communicate this with you.
Are all schools going to be doing the same thing?
Will home schooling packs continue to be sent to those children who can go back to school but don’t?
Yes – schools will continue to provide school packs for those children who remain at home.
If I have a child in F1, F2, YR 1 or YR6 and a sibling in another year, can they come to school as well?
Unfortunately, it may not be possible to send all children in your family to school at the same time. We understand this may be frustrating for some families, but this is due to varying capacities such as schools size, classroom size, staffing and other factors.
When will the other year groups go back to school?
My child is not in one of the year groups set to return in June. I am worried about their education, who can I talk to about this?
We completely understand your worries and frustrations around this. We would advise you speak to your class teacher/school about your concerns.
Are children going to repeat this school year?
Further information and updates
Where can I find out more information?
We will continue to provide updates through the council’s social media channels (below) as regularly as we can, and will be updating these frequently asked questions as we receive more information. Don’t forget to also check your child’s/children’s school website and other communications channels for updates.
More information for parents is also available on the Families Information Service.
Questions for individual schools
There are some questions we have been asked that would be better directed to your child’s/children’s individual schools as they may have different approaches. These include questions such as:
- How will social distancing be managed throughout the school day and at pick up/drop off?
- I can’t afford to supply stationary and books how will the school supplies be sanitised?
- Will children be expected to wear school uniform and if so how will teachers know it has been washed and fresh to prevent spreading germs?
- My school are staggering the school day, can I chose which time my child starts (or what days they attend if they are attending part-time)?
- My school is only opening on a part-time basis, what will happen the rest of the time will there be an element of home schooling too?
- What happens if I don’t send my child to school but then change my mind?