Public Health guidance for schools

Public Health guidance for schools

Key messages from Public Health 16-22nd November

District COVID update

In Bradford the overall COVID infection rate has fallen slightly in the last week, although number of COVID patients admitted to our local hospitals is above the level during the first wave in April/May (and we recorded 27 deaths in the last week from COVID).

This week the number of schools with clusters (2 or more cases on the last 14 days) rose to 65 and of these, 13 were considered to be in-school transmissions. During the week commencing 2nd November there were 147 children of primary school age and 323 11-18 year olds testing positive across Bradford District.

Expected numbers of COVID cases  in schools

We are still seeing over 400 new COVID cases a day in the District. So the measures you are taking to prevent and manage COVID is crucial to reduce community transmission. The figures below estimate what to expect given current community infection rates.

  • In a secondary school of 1,000 pupils and 150 staff (full & part time) you would expect 6 COVID positive pupils and one member of staff to test positive per week.

  • In a primary school of 400 pupils and 50 staff you would expect 1 COVID positive pupil every week and a positive member of staff every two weeks.

These are average numbers and would be double in areas with higher community infection. We also know (from community surveys) that the real infection rate may be 4 to 5 times higher, as not all infections are detected. So where there is a cluster of cases in your school, through increased vigilance and testing, more cases may be detected. Inevitably some schools will be harder hit than others.

Although further COVID cases are inevitable, the hard work of schools is making a difference. We haven’t had the rocketing number of big outbreak in schools some predicted and community infection levels seem to be stabilising slightly.

Managing risk

We are constantly trying to balance the very real COVID risks to vulnerable staff or families against the longer term benefits of children continuing their education and social development, and minimising the financial and emotional struggle of parents during tough times.

Are or aren’t they contacts? Should or shouldn’t they self-isolate? are recurring questions.

Please be confident that the measures we recommend, and that you are taking, are based on PHE guidance that balances these risks and benefits. Every outbreak that Public Health deals with (across many settings) deals with risk. There is never a perfect solution or total risk free decision, so we are asking schools to follow the public health gudiance, staff to look after themselves and colleagues, and to not lie awake at night thinking about what might or might not happen. You are doing an amazing job.

Please see below advice and guidance on Covid 19 from Public Health:

Well being guides

Test and Trace support payments for families

Testing – For staff with pupil facign roles & COVID symptoms book a test via (01274 437070 or national test and trace)

Order test kits from the DfE




Shielding for individual who are clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV)

Individuals who are CEV should “shield” up to 2 December. This means they should stay at home as much as possible, and are strongly advised to work from home. If they cannot work from home, they should not attend work for this period of restrictions.  Children whose doctors have confirmed they are still clinically extremely vulnerable are advised not to attend school while this advice is in place (and should have received new letters). The current Government advice is that  Children who live with someone who is clinically extremely vulnerable, but who are not clinically extremely vulnerable themselves, should still attend school. We will keep this last piece of advice closely under review.

I am not sure if a  child in my school is extremely clinically vulnerable

Please contact the parent/carer to establish lish if they have received a shielding letter. If they have not received a shielding letter but  think they should have please ask them to contact their local General Practitioner (GP) who will be able to let tell them  whether their child is clinically extremely vulnerable.

A child in my school  was on the  clinically extremely vulnerable list last time will they also be this time?

Not all children who were on the shielding list will be identified to be clinically extremely vulnerable.  This is because clinicians have a better understanding of how Covid-19 impacts children.  However, if you are not sure, then please have a discussion with the child’s parent/carer.  

A  child in my school is not on the list and I think they should be. How do I get help with this?

Please contact the child’s parents to discuss your concerns. Weather a child is identified as CEV is a clinical decision.  All GPs have received advice form the NHS on how to support families in this situation.  

A parent or an member of the household is on the clinically extremely vulnerable list and is worried about sending their child to school. How should I advise them?

Please be ready to tell parents about how you  are  managing Covid-19 risks in school and point parents/carers to guidance on  how they can manage the risk and say safe at home.


Overlapping and non-overlapping isolation

How long  do I have to  isolate for if I develop Covid19 symptoms?

If someone develops COVID symptoms they must self-isolate for 10 days from the start of symptoms (or test date) and 14 days for their household or contacts.  So, If they have tested positive then recover, and pass out of the self-isolation period (10 days) the episode is over and they go back to their normal routine.

What if while I am isolating after testing positive for Covid 19 and other members of my household subsequently test positive?

If you are already COVID positive or starting a 14 day isolation as a contact you do not need to extend self-isolation if other household members develop symptoms during your isolation. This because people in the household who remain well after 14 days are unlikely to be infectious. Only new symptomatic or positive cases start a new 10 day isolation period.

What happy if I have just or recently finished  period of isolation and a member of my household  subsequently tests positive for Covid 19?

The clocks start from scratch again if your household has stopped isolation. If there is a gap then someone develops new COVID symptoms (even if previously testing positive) they should get a test. In these circumstance you should start isolation again as above. You cannot assume immunity.


Below are some suggested responses to media enquiries put together by Bradford Council communications team.

If your school's situation, or the enquiry is particularly complex, and you would like communications support with media interest, please contact;

Steve Hemming,  Communications and Stakeholder Engagement Manager, 
T: 07582 101 021 - Email:

Rebecca Smith, Marketing and CommunicationsOfficer, 
T: 07779 543 921 - Email:

Or the Council's Media and Communications Team on - Email: 

More general communications advice is available in the communications toolkit page.



Page owned by Duncan Cooper, last updated on 19/11/2020. This page has been viewed 3,216 times.