March 2021

Our Return to School Plan

We are very much looking forward to seeing all our students back in the next few weeks!!!

This webpage will guide you through the recent government announcements regarding students returning to school from Monday 8th March. Here you will find information on the following, with video guidance for each section:

1. Regular testing arrangements for students returning to school including parental consent
2. The testing and return to school schedule for students
3. How to conduct a Lateral Flow Device Test? (Mr Mckeon video & NHS video)
4. How the results of any test is communicated with parents/carers
5. Travelling to school on Testing days
6. Expectations of students’ learning on testing days
7. How to respond to a positive test result
8. Wearing face covering

The webpage also includes the original control measures we have put in place since September to reduce transmission rates of coronavirus. All these measures will still apply when students return to school.


We will be asking parents for any further FAQs you may have on Monday 1st March and we will update this section each day before 12pm on Wednesday 3rd March.
On testing days do students need to come to school in full school uniform?
Students that are being tested do not need to come into school in uniform on the days they are being tested.
Students that are are coming into school to attend their sessions must wear full school uniform.  Standards and expectations regarding equipment, jewellery and mobile phones remain the same.
If I have not given consent for my child to be tested do they need to attend school on their testing day?
No.  Due to the capacity we need to be able to deliver the volume of tests, those students whose parents/carers have not consented to testing must remain at home on their testing day.  They will follow the ‘expectations of learning on testing days’ (which you can find on the pink tabs above) in the same way all other students who are being tested would.
My child/children have no other way of travelling to school other than to use public transport on their testing days.  What should I do?
Please complete the questions on the Parent Portal.  If there is no alternative arrangements you can put in place there is an option to indicate this on the Parent Portal.  This will let us know that there is no other option for you and we will contact you and ensure we put in the appropriate arrangements to support you and your children on their testing days.
Why do students have to go home immediately after their test?  Can they not stay in school until they know the result? 
Unfortunately we do not have the capacity to keep large numbers of students in school waiting for their test result.  Results can take up to 30minutes to come through on the LFD test.  Students would have to wait socially distanced and be supervised by staff and we do not have the physical space nor the staff capacity to do this.  In order to complete the tests within the time frame indicated by the government we need to complete a large volume of tests in a relatively short space of time.  This takes up both physical space and staffing capacity.  It is also safer to send students home immediately after their test as opposed to keeping them in a room.  This reduces the potential of students coming into close contact with a positive case.  It is important all students understand the need to travel to and from school whilst maintaining social distancing.  Students will not know the result of the test until 30minutes after they have completed it.  Therefore they must ensure they maintain social distancing as they travel to and from school and avoid using public transport.
How do I know whether my child is in Year 9n population or Year 9p population?
When you are given your testing time slot appointment it will clearly indicate which population of Year 9 your child is in.  It will also indicate this on students’ class codes for English , maths and science.  This is displayed on all students’ timetables.  e.g Y9nMa2 or Y9pMa2 … the n and the p here will indicate which population your child is in.
If my child takes off their face mask in a lesson will they receive consequences for this?
No.  We will not issue consequences for this.  We will, however, strongly recommend that all students keep their face masks on in the classroom in line with the government guidance.  We will do all we can to reduce transmission rates and ensure the ‘roadmap’ timeline remains on track and this is one simple way we can do this.  The government will review this strategy at Easter which is a relatively short period of time.

Unchanged information from the September 2020 return to school plan

  • Attendance

    We wanted to be clear that in line with the government guidance ALL students must attend school in March in line with the school’s re-opening plans. 

    Attendance legislation will return to the pre-COVID regulations from the start of the Autumn term.  The government has made it clear that education is not an option and attendance at school will be mandatory from September.  This means the usual rules on attendance apply, including:

    • Parents’ duty to secure that their child attends regularly at school where the child is a registered pupil at school and they are of compulsory school age
    • Schools’ responsibilities to record attendance and follow up absence
    • The availability to issue sanctions, including fixed penalty notices in line with local authorities’ codes of conduct

    What if my child is shielding or self isolating?

    We will follow the government guidance which states:

    We now know much more about coronavirus (COVID-19) and so in future there will be far fewer children and young people advised to shield whenever community transmission rates are high. Therefore, the majority of pupils will be able to return to school. You should note however that:

    • a small number of pupils will still be unable to attend in line with public health advice because they are self-isolating and have had symptoms or a positive test result themselves; or because they are a close contact of someone who has coronavirus (COVID-19)
    • shielding advice for all adults and children will pause on 1 August, subject to a continued decline in the rates of community transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19). This means that even the small number of pupils who will remain on the shielded patient list can also return to school, as can those who have family members who are shielding. Read the current advice on shielding
    • if rates of the disease rise in local areas, children (or family members) from that area, and that area only, will be advised to shield during the period where rates remain high and therefore they may be temporarily absent (see below).
    • some pupils no longer required to shield but who generally remain under the care of a specialist health professional may need to discuss their care with their health professional before returning to school (usually at their next planned clinical appointment). You can find more advice from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health at COVID-19 – ‘shielding’ guidance for children and young people.

    Where children are not able to attend school as parents are following clinical and/or public health advice, absence will not be penalised.

    If you are concerned about your child returning to school because of the reasons stated above then we will be happy to discuss this with you prior to returning to school.  Please contact us on  or  01204 333300

    Reporting Your Child Absent during the Covid-19 Period.

    It is important that you inform the school if your child is going to be absent, for whatever reason, as soon as possible i.e. by 8.30am.

    You may do this in the following ways:

    1. By telephoning the school office 01204 333300
    2. By sending a text message 07592 328139
    3. By sending an email to


    Please ensure that you state clearly one of the following reasons for absence:

    1. Ill with CONFIRMED Covid-19
    2. Self-Isolating with Covid symptoms (7 days)
    3. Self-Isolating due to household/contact having Covid or symptoms of Covid (14 days)
    4. Shielding
    5. Ill – for any other reason other than COVID-19


    It remains the responsibility of the parent/carer to inform the school of student absence.

    If a student is expected to be in school, and no notification of absence has been received, the Attendance and Welfare Leader will endeavour to contact parents/carers by telephone.

    If a pupil who is subject to a Child Protection Order is absent without satisfactory explanation the Early Intervention Team will be contacted before 10.00am and asked to undertake a home visit.

    Where there is a safeguarding concern relating to a student’s absence, and the student is not subject to a Child Protection Order, the schools Designated Safeguarding Lead will be informed and a home visit may be undertaken as a matter of urgency.  The purpose of this visit is to establish the safety and well-being of the student.

  • Class Sizes

    Following government guidance class sizes will remain in their ‘normal’ timetabled size.

  • Classroom Layout
    • All classrooms will be set up in rows with students facing the front.
    • Excess furniture will be removed to increase the space in each classroom.
    • In ICT classrooms where computers cannot be moved a Perspex sheet will be installed between students to ensure they are protected from sitting face to face.
    • Chairs will be placed in specific areas of each classroom and must not be moved.
    • Classrooms must not be re-arranged without permission from the site manager and Principal.
    • Hand sanitisers will be placed at strategic points along corridors and in every classroom in the school so staff and students can regularly wash their hands on entry and exit to every classroom they visit.


  • Staff and student movement around the site

    Once students are in their classroom they must not leave that area for any reason unless there is a medical condition or they need to use toilet.

    Toilets will be available:

    • Mrs Pearson’s office/toilet
    • Girls and boys toilets by canteen

    Toilets will be regularly cleaned and an ‘On Call’ system will alert cleaners when the toilet has been used so they are cleaned as fast as possible.

    Students and staff will move around the building as they normally would.  The timetable, new times of the day and Transition BREAKS will dramatically reduce the numbers of students moving around the building at any one time.  Senior leaders will be on ‘Walkabout’ in every session of every day and ALL staff are expected to Meet and Greet on their classroom door to ensure as students move around the building there is no contact between students and they uphold our Corridor Climate protocols.

  • Expectations in Classrooms
    • Students and staff will use hand sanitisers on entry and exit to the classroom for every session.
    • Students should sit in the same seat at all times and must not move without permission from the teacher.
    • Teachers will keep a seating plan and a copy of this will be kept centrally
    • Desks and chairs should not be moved
    • Teachers should avoid movement in the classroom
    • Windows should be left open during the lessons where possible unless it disrupts learning
    • Group activities and any close contact between individuals should be avoided.
    • Students will wipe down their desk and chair at the end of each session.
  • Student Expectations

    Our expectations of student behaviour and conduct have not changed… they still remain extremely high.

    Our systems and structures for managing students’ behaviour and conduct on the whole have not changed and you can view ‘Our expectations’ on the link

    • We will continue to use our consequence rooms (when students receive a C3 they exit the classroom and make their way to another classroom… their consequence room)… consequence rooms will be Year group consequence rooms i.e. A year 8 student will only be allowed in a Year 8 classroom.
    • We will continue to run C3 detentions. These will be completed in cohorts i.e. Year 7 and 8, Year 9 and 10 and Year 11.
    • We will continue to run our isolation room and will use a bigger open space in the gym should we need to.

    Our system is based on the philosophy of choices and chances. i.e. all students have a choice and they have a chance to modify their behaviour/choices before we issue a consequence.  We trust the vast majority of our students understand the context in which we are operating at the moment and now more so than ever will ‘help themselves and help others achieve things they never thought they could.’  However, if students do not make the right choices we will issue consequences in the same way.

    • Students with medical conditions who need to leave the classroom will be allowed to do so at the discretion of the teacher. Students who leave the session for medical reasons should be issued a pass.
    • Students who need to leave the session to use the toilet will be issued a pass at the discretion and professional judgement of the teacher. Every time a toilet is used it will be cleaned by our contracted cleaners
    • Students should avoid all physical contact in school and on the way to school… No hugs, shaking hands etc…
    • When in the classroom students should sit in the same place at all times and not move from this place unless instructed to do so by the teacher.
    • Students should not share belongings with each other (stationery, food etc…)
    • Students follow the same behaviour expectations and the same behaviour protocols will be in place.

    We have made a few adjustments for September.  Many of these adjustments were already planned before COVID-19 but all these adjustments are even more pertinent given the current situation:

  • Uniform

    Students are expected to wear school uniform in line with the uniform policy (click here to view our Policies page). This includes PE kit when students take part in their PE lesson.

    We have a strict uniform policy.  This is to ensure students are preparing themselves for the world of work and life beyond their 5 years at Little Lever.  In many jobs students will have to wear a uniform or specialist equipment.  We want to teach our students the value of this.  We also want to ensure every student feels part of the Little Lever team.  When students wear our blazer they take on the responsibility to leave the blazer in a better place.  This means they represent our community when they wear our blazer and they must represent our community in the right way.

    We insist on black leather shoes and we will not deviate from this.  We do not allow trainers of any type.

    Students are only permitted to wear a wrist watch.  Rings, earrings, piercings and bracelets are not to be worn.  If students arrive to school with jewellery on it will be confiscated and a C3 detention will be issued.  Again, we want students to take responsibility for the choices they make.  We have set out a clear uniform policy and our expectations will not change.  The responsibility lies with the student to make the right choice.

    If students are going to have piercings we recommend students have these done over the summer holidays.  We will not accept any reason for wearing jewellery other than a wrist watch.

  • Jewellery

    As our current uniform policy states piercings and jewellery of any kind are not permitted and will be confiscated. Students should remove all piercings/jewellery before they come to school or cross the blue line in the morning.

    If students are seen wearing jewellery or have piercings of any kind they will be asked to remove them and they will be confiscated until the end of the day and the student will receive a C3 detention.

    We are confident every student at Little Lever understands our policy on jewellery. We make our uniform policy clear in advance hence why we put the responsibility on students to make the right choice.  We want students to concentrate on learning whilst they are at school.  While we understand why students want to wear jewellery, we also want students to understand we value them all equally no matter what jewellery they are wearing.  The focus is on learning when we come to school and we want nothing to detract from that.   We are also helping students prepare for the world of work where in certain industries the equipment you wear or don’t wear is compulsory.  We want to educate our students about the world in which they live to ensure they are successful when they leave.


  • Mobile Phones

    From September Little Lever will become a Mobile Phone Free School.  This is a national project established by Parents and Teachers for Excellence.   While the Mobile Phone is a fantastic creation and helps society in so many ways we do not feel they are conducive to helping students learn.  They cause too many distractions, increase the risk of exposure to uncensored material and cause significant mental health issues for young people when used for pro-longed periods of time.   There is significant re-search to suggest that those schools who have mobile phone free policies have significantly improved the life chances of their students by improving their concentration levels which has resulted in improved GCSE outcomes for their students.

    Many of the top performing schools in the country have adopted a mobile phone free policy and we feel our students will reap the benefits of being able to concentrate solely on learning when they come to school.  Our Little Lever Parent Forum were in full support of becoming a Mobile Phone Free school and echoed the benefits to learning and students’ mental health this would bring.

    How will it work? 

    Students must not have a mobile phone on their person at any time of the school day.

    We understand that parents/carers will want to keep in touch with their children and many parents will want their child to carry a mobile phone for safety reasons.  For this reason, students will be able to bring a mobile phone into school but it must remain switched off and in the students’ bag until the end of the day.  Once the student has crossed the blue line outside the school gates at the end of the day they are free to use their mobile phone.

    If students have a mobile phone on their person or are seen using their mobile phone at any part of the school day it will be confiscated and a C3 detention will be issued.  The phone will be labelled and placed securely in the school safe and record of the students name will be taken.  Students can collect the phone at the end of the school day.

    If a student has a mobile phone on their person or is seen using it for a second time the phone will be confiscated for 5 school days from the date it was confiscated and the student will receive a C3 detention.  We will ask parents and carers to collect the phone at the end of the 5 day period.

    If a student has a mobile phone on their person or is seen using it for a third time the phone will be confiscated for a 4 week period from the date it was confiscated and the student will receive a C3 detention.  We will ask parents and carers to collect the phone at the end of the 4 week period.

    For every time a student has a mobile phone on their person or is seen using it after the third time it will be confiscated for 4 weeks each time and the student will receive a C3 detention.  We will always ask parents/carers to collect the phone at the end of the 4 week period.

  • Teaching in PE, Drama, Music & Technology

    Teaching PE:

    We are hoping to deliver PE lessons which will give students some physical activity.  We are taking into account guidance from the DfE and guidance from the different sporting bodies.

    Students will not be participating in sports, drills or activities which require physical contact.  Students will complete some form of physical activity during their PE lessons which will be conducted outside (where possible).  Social distancing will be adhered to and equipment use will be kept to a minimum.  Where equipment is to be used the cleaning of this equipment will follow national sporting body guidance.  All equipment will be cleaned to the national sporting body guidelines before it is used by another class.

    Changing rooms:

    Students will need to bring their PE kit on the days they have PE.  Changing rooms will be organised so each student has a dedicated marked space in which they will get changed.  These marked spaces will ensure students are socially distant from each other.  

    There will be two classes taking part in PE lessons during a session.  Both classes will always be from the same Year group bubble.  Two male classes and two female classes.  Only one class will be allowed in the changing rooms at once.  Each class will have a dedicated area of the changing room as well as each student having a dedicated marked area in which to get changed.  Students will be supervised at all times by their class teacher and a member of the senior leadership team will be based in the PE area at all times to support.

    One class will enter the changing room to get changed in their dedicated area.  The second class will go to the sports hall which will be split by a partition curtain into two holding zones.  One for boys and one for girls.  Students in the holding zone will start a theory based ‘Connect Now’ activity while they wait for the changing rooms to be vacated.  Once the changing rooms have been vacated students in the holding zone will be escorted by a member of the senior team to their dedicated changing room area.

    The class that vacated the changing rooms first will start their ‘Connect Now’ activity outside.

    As students enter and leave the changing rooms they must use the hand sanitisers.

    Changing rooms will be locked once all students have vacated and students will be supervised at all times in the changing rooms.

    We will review these procedures on a weekly basis and change them based on the local and national guidance.

    Teaching Drama: 

    All drama lessons will be theory based for the first half term.  We hope to move to teaching the normal drama curriculum as swiftly as possible.

    Teaching Music:

    All music lessons will be theory based for the first half term.  We hope to teach the normal music curriculum as swiftly as possible.

    Teaching Technology:

    All technology lessons will be theory based for the first half term.  We hope to teach the normal music curriculum as swiftly as possible.

  • Enrichment

    We are planning to offer a Year group Bubble approach to our Enrichment activities from September.  Students will be able to attend Enrichment activities on a Year group Rota in the Autumn Term.  Students will still be able to select a wide range of Enrichment activities they would like to attend but the activities will take place for different year groups at different times in the school year until we can return to ‘normal’.


  • Extra-Curricular Visits

    We hope to still run extra-curricular visits where we feel it will significantly benefit the students’ learning, character development, their life chances and where the destination meets COVID secure regulations.  In line with government guidance, a thorough risk assessment will take place before any extra-curricular visit is organised.  It is likely we will be running significantly less extra-curricular visits until the current government guidance changes. We will look where possible to use video technology so our students can still engage in encounters with universities, industry and employers.

  • Response to any infection

    Engage with the NHS Test and Trace process

    ALL staff members and parents/carers will need to be ready and willing to:

    • book a testif they are displaying symptoms. Staff and pupils must not come into the school if they have symptoms, and must be sent home to self-isolate if they develop them in school. All children can be tested, including children under 5, but children aged 11 and under will need to be helped by their parents/carers if using a home testing kit
    • provide details of anyone they have been in close contact with if they were to test positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) or if asked by NHS Test and Trace
    • self-isolateif they have been in close contact with someone who develops coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms or someone who tests positive for coronavirus (COVID-19)

    Anyone who displays symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) can and should get a test. Tests can be booked online through the NHS testing and tracing for coronavirus website, or ordered by telephone via NHS 119 for those without access to the internet. Essential workers, which includes anyone involved in education or childcare, have priority access to testing.

    The government will ensure that it is as easy as possible to get a test through a wide range of routes that are locally accessible, fast and convenient. We will release more details on new testing avenues as and when they become available and will work with schools so they understand what the quickest and easiest way is to get a test. By the autumn term, all schools will be provided with a small number of home testing kits that they can give directly to parents/carers collecting a child who has developed symptoms at school, or staff who have developed symptoms at school, where they think providing one will significantly increase the likelihood of them getting tested. Advice will be provided alongside these kits.

    Parents/carers and staff need to inform the school of the results of a test:

    • if someone tests negative, if they feel well and no longer have symptoms similar to coronavirus (COVID-19), they can stop self-isolating. They could still have another virus, such as a cold or flu – in which case it is still best to avoid contact with other people until they are better. Other members of their household can stop self-isolating.

    Parents and carers must contact the school on 01204 333300 or email the school on as soon as possible if this is the case.

    • if someone tests positive, they should follow the ‘stay at home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection’and must continue to self-isolate for at least 7 days from the onset of their symptoms and then return to school only if they do not have symptoms other than cough or loss of sense of smell/taste. This is because a cough or anosmia can last for several weeks once the infection has gone. The 7-day period starts from the day when they first became ill. If they still have a high temperature, they should keep self-isolating until their temperature returns to normal. Other members of their household should continue self-isolating for the full 14 days.

    Parents and carers must report their absence from school stating the appropriate reason for absence as stated above.

  • PPE Equipment

    Government guidance on face coverings has changed recently.  In conjunction with local health protection teams, taking into account current infection rates in Bolton it will be necessary for all students and staff to wear a face covering when they are in lessons, on corridors or in the canteen and/or conservatory.  These are areas that are communal and students will potentially pass other students outside of their Year group bubble.  While the guidance states that this is still relatively low risk we are taking the advice of medical professionals who have clearly stated that wearing a face covering in these areas will help reduce the spread of the virus.

    We would strongly recommend that parents and carers purchase a washable face covering as opposed to a disposable face covering.  The school will provide face coverings for students who do not bring one but these will be disposable.  Disposable face masks are not meant for long term use and therefore will need to be disposed of at some point.

    Students do not need to wear a face covering when they are outside. 

    If students want to wear a face covering in these areas we will not challenge this.  We will take a common sense approach and work with our young people and families to ensure they feel safe and comfortable.  However, if face coverings are used inappropriately or pose a health and safety concern in these areas students will be asked to remove them.

  • PHE - Health Protection Teams

    Schools must take swift action when they become aware that someone who has attended has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19). Schools should contact the local health protection team. This team will also contact schools directly if they become aware that someone who has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) attended the school – as identified by NHS Test and Trace.

    The health protection team will carry out a rapid risk assessment to confirm who has been in close contact with the person during the period that they were infectious, and ensure they are asked to self-isolate.

    The health protection team will work with schools in this situation to guide them through the actions they need to take. Based on the advice from the health protection team, schools must send home those people who have been in close contact with the person who has tested positive, advising them to self-isolate for 14 days since they were last in close contact with that person when they were infectious. Close contact means:

    • direct close contacts – face to face contact with an infected individual for any length of time, within 1 metre, including being coughed on, a face to face conversation, or unprotected physical contact (skin-to-skin)
    • proximity contacts – extended close contact (within 1 to 2 metres for more than 15 minutes) with an infected individual
    • travelling in a small vehicle, like a car, with an infected person

    The health protection team will provide definitive advice on who must be sent home. To support them in doing so, we recommend schools keep a record of pupils and staff in each group, and any close contact that takes places between children and staff in different groups.  This should be a proportionate recording process. Schools do not need to ask pupils to record everyone they have spent time with each day or ask staff to keep definitive records in a way that is overly burdensome.

    A template letter will be provided to schools, on the advice of the health protection team, to send to parents and staff if needed.

  • Cleaning Routines

    There is dedicated cleaning and preparation time throughout day. Rooms will be cleaned at the end of the day.  Cleaners have been trained in line with government guidance around COVID-19.

  • Helping students return to school

    The Local Authority Educational Psychology service has produced a very useful newsletter, below, to support parents, carers and students returning to school. Further information can be found on our website Mental Health section.

  • Fire Procedures

    In line with government guidance should there be a fire alarm student will follow the normal fire alarm procedures.  In this scenario students will not be expected to socially distance, as per the government guidance there would potentially be an immediate risk of harm and therefore the priority would be to remove staff and students from the building as quickly and as safely as possible.

    Students would line up in silence in single file on the back yard in their Edge groups.  A register would be taken by the teacher of the class and we would follow our normal procedures.

    This will be part of the induction programme for students and staff.

  • First Aid

    There will always be a first aider on the school site.

    If a student or adult needs first aid the first aider must administer this if it cannot be done by the student or adult.  In order to do this staff can wear a pair of latex gloves.  Once used these items must be disposed of securely in a bin liner tied at the top.  This must then be placed in a second bin liner which will again be tied at the top and clearly labelled for the cleaning staff to dispose of appropriately.


  • Risk Assessment

    There is a robust risk assessment that is in place and which is currently being updated in line with government guidance.  The risk assessment is monitored by the Trust and union officials are in consultation.

    In the current situation there will always be a risk.  What the risk assessment does is minimise the risk by addressing a multitude of different areas in order to reduce this risk for students and adults in the building.

    The risk assessment looks at every aspect of the return to school in detail.  It covers the following items:

    • Social distancing
    • Classroom sizes
    • Arrival and departure from school
    • Movement around the school
    • The school day
    • School and Public Transport
    • Cleaning arrangements
    • Hygiene and handwashing
    • Clothing and Fabric
    • First Aid
    • Testing and managing symptoms
    • Medical rooms
    • Toilets
    • Fire Procedures
    • Contractors on site
    • Parents on site
    • Students with underlying health conditions
    • Staff and student induction programmes

    We have completed our draft risk assessment in line with government guidance and in collaboration with the Local Authority and the Bolton Learning Alliance to ensure we have covered every base.