Coronavirus advice

Coronavirus (COVID-19) - update, advice and guidance for parents and carers

Are schools and settings in Hackney open?

Since lockdown began in March 2020, Hackney’s schools have been open for children of critical workers and vulnerable children. From June, in line with government guidance, our schools, colleges, nurseries, childminders and other registered childcare settings have either reopened or opened to a wider group.

Schools and settings continue to support children of critical workers and vulnerable children, as well as welcoming back:

  • Early years settings
  • Reception and Year 1
  • Year 6
  • Year 10 and 12 for some face to face time
  • Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

Hackney schools are working on a phased return for eligible pupils. Please check your child’s school website or contact the school for more information.

There is no change to the offer for children and young people who are classed as vulnerable and/or are the children of critical workers, who continue to be welcome to attend schools and settings (as they have been doing since March).

The government guidance, What parents and carers need to know about early years providers, schools and colleges during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak helps to explain what the current arrangements for school opening is, including who is counted as a critical worker, who is classed as vulnerable as well as information about free school meals.

Please refer to school websites for more information on their status.

Will my child still get free school meals?

Schools should provide meal options for all children attending school. Meals should be available free of charge to all infant pupils and pupils who meet the benefits-related free school meals eligibility criteria.

If your child usually receives free school meals and is not attending school, then the school should provide you with an alternative (e.g., vouchers they issue themselves, vouchers through the national voucher scheme or food parcels). Please contact your school for more information about this.

Some families who have no recourse to public funds may also be eligible for free school meals under a temporary extension to free school meal eligibility. Please contact your school for more information and to apply under this extension.

New applications for free school meals will still be processed in the same way as before. If you think you have recently become eligible please contact your school office.

Find out more about the provision of free school meals during the coronavirus lockdown.

If you receive free school meal vouchers, find out more about healthy and easy recipe ideas.

Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health - Advice for parents during coronavirus

Whilst coronavirus is infectious to children, it is rarely serious. If a child is unwell it is likely to be a non-coronavirus illness, rather than coronavirus itself.

Whilst it is extremely important to follow Government advice to stay at home during this period, it can be confusing to know what to do when a child is unwell or injured.

NHS 111, GPs and hospitals are still providing the same safe care that they have always done. A downloadable poster with advice is available from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health website. 

What to do if you or your child has coronavirus symptoms

Stay at home for seven days if you have:

  • a high temperature;
  • a new continuous cough; or
  • a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia).

If you have the above symptoms, you should arrange to have a test as soon as possible to see if you have COVID-19 – find out more about what testing is and how to arrange a test.

If you live with other people, they should stay at home for 14 days from the day the first person got symptoms.

Read the stay at home guidance which sets out when and how to self isolate.

Advice and guidance

There is a range of advice and guidance available on the gov.uk website. Please note that this information is regularly updated and you should, therefore, refer back to it for any changes

In addition, the NSPCC has created a number of resources to support parents and carers during this difficult time. Topics include:

  • Talking to a child worried about coronavirus
  • Parents working from home
  • Children staying home alone
  • Lockdown and separated parents
  • How to cope with tantrums and other difficult behaviour

This advice can be found on the NSPCC website.

What other action you should take

A UK-wide campaign has been launched to provide clear advice on how to slow the spread of coronavirus.

Please help to support the campaign which promotes basic hygiene practices, such as regularly washing hands and always sneezing into a tissue (and then immediately disposing of it), to stem the spread of viruses.

See the NHS advice about washing your hands

This page was last modified on: 29 Jun 2020