What are the rules for Covid-19 as schools return in autumn 2021?

Updated: Sep 12

It’s possible that your teen may be apprehensive about returning to busy classrooms as we adjust the way we behave while we learn to live with Covid so we thought we’d take this chance to clear up any confusion about what you can expect from schools and Covid-19 compliance as the autumn term gets underway. Read on to find out more.

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What’s changed in England*:

  • No bubbles – pupils can mix, no staggered arrival/departure, assemblies can take place and students can eat together at lunch;

  • No compulsory face-coverings in school (the government still recommends coverings are worn in crowded spaces such as public transport);

  • Students under 18 years and 6 months do not have to self-isolate if they live in the same household as someone with Covid, but they should take a PCR test;

  • All students will take 2 lateral flow tests at school on return in the autumn term, and continue to take twice weekly tests at home through end of September when this will be reviewed. Teachers will do this too. You and your teen will have been expected to test regularly throughout the summer.

*These rules could be temporarily changed if there was an outbreak of Covid with high numbers in a school



What schools must continue to do:

  • Encourage high levels of hygiene, including hand sanitation readily available for all staff and pupils;

  • Ensure appropriate cleaning regimes throughout the school;

  • Keep classrooms / areas in use well ventilated;

  • Follow the current Public Health Advice.


Protect your family - vaccines for teens

16 and 17 years olds in England have been offered their first vaccine dose over the summer. Do you know whether your teen had their jab? They don’t need parental consent once they’re over 16.


To vaccinate teens under 16 check your local pharmacy for walk in centres – vulnerable teens should have already received an invite.



Last words

We’re all learning to live with Covid 19 and our world has changed over the past eighteen months. It’s important your teen feels safe in living their life and they must also understand why it’s important for us all, including them, to take sensible precautions to protect ourselves. It is still the case that most teens infected with Covid 19 have less severe reactions than adults, so help your teen understand that what they do affects others, not just themselves.


We always love to hear from you, so do let us know if there are any subjects you’d like us to chat to you about. Stay safe and keep happy,


Vanessa Green - Vanessa@theparentsguideto.co.uk