Is it compulsory for my child to attend their education setting during the coronavirus (Covid-19)?

In England the Department for Education (DfE) is asking schools to prepare to welcome all children back in September.

The DfE guidance advises it is vital for all children to return to school to minimise as far as possible the longer-term impact of the pandemic on children’s education, wellbeing and wider development. Children of compulsory school age must be in school unless a statutory reason applies (for example, your child has been granted a leave of absence, is unable to attend because of sickness, is absent for a necessary religious observance etc).

Where your child is unable to attend school because they are complying with clinical and/or public health advice, schools are expected to be able to immediately offer you access to remote education. Also where your child is not able to attend school as you as a parent are following clinical and/or public health advice, absence will not be penalised. If you believe this applies to you then you should contact your child’s education setting and discuss your individual situation.

Further guidance on the full opening of schools can be found here on the GOV.UK Guidance for opening schools web page.

Speak to your child’s school if you have any concerns and notify them as normal if your child is unable to attend so staff are aware and can discuss any issues with you.

You can also find some frequently asked questions (FAQs) on the Guide Dogs website, which have been put together to reflect the conversations they have had with parents and carers regarding their child’s transition to a new school or key stage in September.

The above information is for England only – Education in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland may differ however it is key to discuss the situation with your child’s education setting. Additional information for the nations can be found on the relevant government websites. ScotlandWales and Northern Ireland.

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