Help for parents as children in Swanage go back to school

Dorset Council is offering support to parents and carers whose children are anxious about returning to the classroom this week, after an extended time away from the school environment.

A Covid telephone helpline run by Dorset Council’s Educational Psychology Service is offering to support those who are worried about their child or teenager returning to school after lockdown.

Many children of key workers have remained in school this term but those who have been learning from home have not been in a busy classroom environment for over 11 weeks, nearly twice the length of the summer school holidays.

“Often, they’ll avoid talking about their anxieties”

Councillor Andrew Parry, Dorset Council portfolio holder for children, education and early help, said:

“Sometimes it can be difficult to speak to a young person about whether or not they are worried. Often, they’ll avoid talking about their anxieties, but if you can get them to speak to you, that’s a really positive step.

“Our Covid helpline is here to support parents and carers so they can help their children cope with the lockdown restrictions and returning to school. If you live in the Dorset Council area and are concerned about how your child is managing and you need someone to talk to, please ring us.

“Our educational psychologists are available to help you. They will listen to your concerns and can offer practical advice and guidance.”

The helpline number is 01258 474036 and is open from Monday to Friday from 9 am to 4.45 pm. Callers need to ring and make an appointment for a 30 minute phone consultation.

Dorset Council says that calls are confidential unless there is a risk of harm to the caller, their child or someone else and that brief records are kept of each call.

Exterior of Swanage Primary School

Swanage Primary School

Back at school from Monday 8th March 2021

All pupils across England are due back from Monday 8th March 2021, including those at Swanage Primary School, St Mark’s CE Primary School, and St Mary’s Catholic Primary School in Swanage, as well as St George’s CE VA Primary School in Langton Matravers.

Exterior of The Swanage School

The Swanage School

Secondary school pupils will be offered a rapid Covid test

The return of secondary school children is being staggered to allow for all pupils to be tested for Covid-19 before going to their classrooms. They will be offered a rapid lateral flow test that gives a result within 30 minutes. They will then have two more tests later in the week at school before transitioning to twice weekly home testing.

This means that pupils at The Swanage School will be travelling to school at staggered times throughout the school day on Monday 8th and Tuesday 9th March 2021, before resuming a normal timetable on Wednesday 10th March 2021.

Primary school children will not be routinely tested in school.

Families and households with primary, secondary school and college aged children will be offered free rapid lateral flow tests. Twice-weekly testing will also be offered to adults working in the wider school community, including bus drivers and after school club leaders.

St Marks School

St Mark’s CE Primary School in Swanage

Further information

  • To contact Dorset Council’s helpline offering support to those who are worried about their child or teenager returning to school after lockdown, call the helpline number on 01258 474036
  • Information about how to obtain Covid rapid lateral flow home test kits is available on the government’s website

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