Helping children back to school
Pupils all over the country are beginning to return to schools and colleges after their summer breaks. For many pupils they will be returning with far fewer restrictions than when they left for the summer holidays.
Now that there are fewer restrictions, pupils will be able to experience a fuller education experience, including, access to more group activities, team sports, playing with friends, plays, and taking part in musical groups.
Secondary school and college pupils should take two Covid-19 tests in school at the start of term and then continue to test twice weekly at home. Coronavirus hasn’t gone away so there will still be a need for schools, pupils and students to follow basic measures to avoid the spread of the virus.
Latest government guidance for parents on early years providers, schools and colleges during COVID-19
Information on rapid lateral flow testing for secondary school pupils and staff
Order a home test kit if you do not have symptoms
Visit a test site if you do not have symptoms
Get a free NHS test if you have symptoms
Help and advice videos
Back to School video
We've created a video for primary and secondary school students, talking about what they can expect when they return to school. We've also provided tips to help them along the way.
Every Mind Matters: A message for parents, children and young people
Davina McCall, Marvin Humes, Sean Fletcher, Katie Piper and Edith Bowman, read extracts from best-selling author Charlie Mackesy’s book, "The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse" to help inspire parents, children and young people to speak more openly about their mental health and to ask for help when they need it.
Connecting well: We answer your COVID lockdown parenting questions
Even with the best intentions, parenting can be testing at times. COVID-19 has added an extra layer of complexity that hasn’t been easy to navigate.
Child psychotherapist Laverne Antrobus answers some of parents question and others:
• as a parent, how do you get “me” time during lockdown?
• has your kids’ sibling rivalry taken on serious tones during lockdown?
• how do you support your outgoing child during this period of isolation?
Coping well: we answer your COVID lockdown parenting questions
- parents, how are you coping under social isolation measures? If you’re like most, you’re encountering new parenting challenges, sometimes on a daily basis
- this video offers support for parents through the tricky bits; finding routine, managing screen time and getting good rest during lockdown
- COVID-19 has brought death a closer reality for many of us. As a parent, how do you support your child through the grief?
Useful resources and guidance to support parents, carers and teachers
Back to school guide for parents, carers and guardians
A booklet providing hints, tips and methods to help manage your child's anxiety, fix disrupted sleep patterns and build their resilience.
Vulnerable and specialist children’s services toolkit
A helpful guide of resources for teaching staff, parents and carers of vulnerable children. This includes links to courses, workshops, videos and links to websites to support vulnerable children going back to school.
Back to school presentation for primary school children
A child-friendly presentation for primary school children to help support their mental wellbeing as they return to school.
Back to school presentation for primary and secondary school pupils
A presentation for primary and secondary school pupils, to help support their mental wellbeing as they return to school.
Barnet Integrated Clinical Services (BICS)
BICS offer mild to moderate mental health support to children, young people and families within Barnet. We see children, young people and families in schools, in the community, social care and youth offending settings. If you live in the Borough or attend a Barnet school, we may be able to help.
Please visit www.barnet.gov.uk/bics for all information about our services, how to contact us, make a referral and view our group and workshop programmes. In addition you can find our online content which includes pre-recorded workshops and podcasts on a variety of topics which both families and professionals may benefit from viewing/listening to in their own time.
Other help and advice
Spring 2021 mental health and wellbeing workshops for parents, children and young people
Articles featured in Barnet Times newspaper: July 2020 edition, focused on children and young people's mental health and wellbeing
Articles include advice for parents, reflections from a young person during lockdown and information on wellbeing workshops and mental health services.
Top NHS doctor issues advice for children going back to school
NHS England’s top doctor for children and young people’s mental health has urged parents to be alert to signs that children could be experiencing anxiety, distress or low mood as some pupils return to school.
New clinical advice for parents, guardians and carers
Advice on helping and supporting a child or young person with mental ill health, suicidal thoughts or self-harming behaviours has been published on the NHS website
Return To School article by Dr Anindita Sarkar: Published in June 2020
Dr Anindita Sarkar (Clinical Lead for Barnet Integrated Clinical service) provides her thoughts on what the return to school might look like for children and what parents can do to help.