Schools and childcare information during Coronavirus

It is vital that Surrey children and young people return to school and college for their education progress, their health and wellbeing and wider social development. Children and young people in all age groups will return from the start of term in September 2020.

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Schools and Colleges

Children and young people, in all year groups, will return to primary and secondary education full time from the beginning of the autumn term 2020.

We now know more about coronavirus and are monitoring the situation across Surrey closely and about the measures that need to be in place to create safer environments in schools and colleges.

The risk to children themselves of becoming severely ill from coronavirus (COVID-19) is very low and there are negative health impacts of being out of school.

Here is more information about changes to school transport arrangements during Coronavirus as a guide to parents.

Staying safe in schools and colleges

To manage the risks, things will be a bit different when children and young people return to education. We have been working with schools and colleges to put in place a range of protective measures to help reduce the risks. These include creating 'bubbles' of pupils and teachers, social distancing, one-way systems and regular hand-washing and sanitising. Your school and college can tell you more about the particular measures in place.

Staying safe outside

It is important for pupils, parents and carers to keep alert when outside of school, college and nursery too. That includes following national guidelines on social distancing, beyond your own school bubble, household group and wider support bubble, at all times, including when travelling to school.

Walk, cycle or scoot to school or college where you can and follow national guidelines if using public transport. If driving, consider parking away from your school, college or nursery and walking or scooting the remainder of the journey.

Attendance at nursery and childminders

Children attending nurseries and childminders were able to return from 1 June. From 20 July, nurseries were able to return to their normal group sizes.

Attending early years provision is essential to young children development and is the first step in their educational journey. By attending a setting your children can access a rich range of resources and experiences which their early years setting can offer. These include playing and learning alongside friends, exploring and developing their thinking skills and being active and creative. By going to the setting on a regular basis again, your child will begin to feel the sense of routine, security and belonging.

Whether your child attends nursery, a childminder or another early years provider is your decision, but we do encourage you to take up a place for your child

You can check if your child is eligible for any of the funded childcare entitlements on the Childcare Choices website.

Attendance at school and college

It is vital that children and young people return to school and college, for their educational progress, for their wellbeing, and for their wider development.

School attendance will be mandatory from the beginning of the new academic year. This means that it is your legal duty as a parent to send your child (if they are of compulsory school age) to school regularly.

There is not a corresponding legal duty for post-16 education but if a young person fails to attend, their college may believe they have left the course.

If a child or member of their household has symptoms of coronavirus, they should remain at home at follow Government guidelines. Get a test and inform your school of the result. Talk to your school or college to find out about how learning might be continued at home.

If children and young people have found lockdown exceptionally difficult, then their school or college may suggest a brief phased return. This will only be if it suits the needs of your child, and is agreed with you in advance. Your child will be supported to return to full time attendance as soon as they can.

If you have concerns about your child returning to school or college because you consider they may have other risk factors, you should discuss these with your school or college. They should be able to explain ways they are changing things to reduce risks.


Children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) and their parents/ carers are facing numerous challenges as a result of Coronavirus (Covid-19). Visit the Surrey Local Offer website for information to support parents/carers of children and young people with SEND.


Should you have any concerns about your child returning to school you should discuss this with your school in the first instance.

If you or your child feel anxious about returning and to receive support or advice on managing the changes, visit Healthy Surrey.

Financial Support available

Some families may be struggling financially during the coronavirus crisis. Differing groups of the community will have differing financial needs. For more information on financial support available visit our COVID Financial Support web pages for more information on what might be available and where to go for further details.

Files available to download