Back to School: Autumn 2020


This page will be kept updated with information and guidance related to education and childcare in response to COVID-19 




Read Southwark Council's latest advice and information at



Southwark's Back to School guide


Click here (pdf, 840kb) to download Southwark's Back to School health information booklet or visit the Council's website for details.  You can also email the Back to School team if you have any queries regarding your child returning to school this autumn. 


Open letter from Vicky Ford (pdf, 153kb), the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Children and Families, to children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), their families and carers and those who work to support them.  


Following the introduction of the new national restrictions on 5th November, this letter (pdf, 153kb)provides advice and guidance on several issues, including school attendance, children who are clinically extremely vulnerable, remote education, face coverings in education settings, respite, health services for children and young people with SEND, and the new winter package to provide support for children and young people and their families. 



What parents and carers need to know about early years providers, schools and colleges in the autumn term.  DfE advice


Following the reopening of schools in September, bus services for children were revised to meet the increase in demand. 

To help manage this TfL introduced changes to buses during term time on weekdays from 07:30-09:30 and 14:30-16:30 to help with safe travel:

  • dedicating a number of existing buses for school travel only on routes with a frequent service that are likely to be the busiest. These buses will have clear signs to differentiate them from regular bus services and information will be posted at bus stops and online

  • adding over 200 extra dedicated School Service buses on some of the busiest routes with less frequent services. This includes adding buses to existing school bus services. These measures have been prioritised for routes on which students travel longer distances


Check to see if your route is affected or view a full list of bus routes affected.

Plan and allow more time for your journeys, if you are travelling by bus during school travel times as you may have to wait longer. 

Watch the TfL video to see what other changes we have made to our buses that help safe and sustainable travel.






Online counselling for young people:

Kooth is accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and is available online, offering free and safe access to self-help materials, mood-tracking, online journal and goal setting tools and a moderated online community of peers.
Access is free of the typical barriers to support: no waiting lists, no thresholds, no cost and complete anonymity. You can visit their site by clicking here



The Nest


The Nest in Southwark provides free mental health and wellbeing support for young people aged 13 – 25. This supports young people and their families with the opportunities, experiences and tools to enable them to develop their emotional and social skills through one-to-one and group work.

During this period, the service offers remote support including e-resources, an online chat service, and one-to-one advice over the phone or video calls. Once lockdown restrictions are lifted these services will continue alongside face-to-face support from the base in Peckham, Southwark. For More information please click here.



Guide to Mental Health and Wellbeing for those with Learning Difficulties


Please click here to download the easy read guide for looking after your feelings and body.

You can find further guidance on looking after your mental health and wellbeing on the Government website.



Back to School Surveys


We at Southwark Educational Psychology Service would like your help to find out what it has been like for you going back to or starting a new school. We would also like to hear from you if you have not started back at school or if you have not attended school for some time (not just because of COVID-19).


We will use your answers to help understand what life is like for you and to help us think about ways to improve school. This might mean we write reports which share your views so other people can know what life is like for you and what things we could do to make changes to school life.


Click here to complete the primary school survey and here to complete the secondary school and college survey.


Please can you submit the form by 5pm Friday 27th November 2020.




Parent Consultation Service


The Parent Consultation Service offers parents and carers an opportunity to request consultation about the concerns they have about their children at home. Find out more by downloading their leaflet here. (pdf, 243kb)



The Government have announced that the Family Fund will receive funding of £37.3m in 2020-21.  This includes £10m which has been allocated to help families in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. More details can be found by clicking here.

You can also head to the Family Fund's website for more information. Should you need support with making an application to Family fund, please contact Southwark's Citizens Advice Bureau.