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Operational guidance from 17 May 2021


Following the announcements on 10 May on the easing of restrictions, the operational guidance for schools has been updated here. These changes will be effective from 17 May.

Points to note & key changes to the guidance are:


  • Face coverings will no longer be recommended for pupils in classrooms or communal areas. They are also no longer recommended for staff in classrooms. They continue to be recommended for staff and visitors in communal areas where social distancing is not possible.


  • The legislation that governs compulsory school age is unchanged. As usual, pupils cease to be of compulsory school age on the last Friday of June in the year in which they turn 16. That means that those pupils are not required to attend school after this date.


  • All pupils travelling to England must adhere to government travel advice. Those arriving from a ‘red list’ country, or have transited through one in the past 10 days, must quarantine in a government approved facility with a parent or legal guardian rather than at home.


  • Schools can undertake domestic residential education visits.


  • It is recommended that schools do not go on any international visits this academic year up to and including 5 September 2021.


  • Risk assessments should be completed before running transitional, taster and open days to ensure that they are run in line with system of controls and align with the advice contained in the operational guidance and the roadmap out of lockdown.


  • Wraparound and other extra-curricular activities for children, taking place indoors, will be able to take place in groups of any number. However, it remains important to continue to minimise mixing between children, where possible.


  • If planning an indoor or outdoor face-to-face performance in front of a live audience, you should follow the latest advice in the working safely during COVID-19 in the performing arts guidance, which provides details of how to manage audiences as well as carry out performing arts safely. If planning an outdoor performance you should also give particular consideration to the guidance on delivering outdoor events.


  • Ofsted intends to resume its full programme of routine, graded school inspections in September 2021. During the summer term, Ofsted is restarting some onsite inspections.


  • Detailed guidance is included on the support of pupil wellbeing which starts on page 59.

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