Monthly column: Back to school


It is that time of year again when most of the borough’s children head back to school, and home-schooled pupils restart their studies.

Education in the last two years has been subject to disruption and I know this has caused anxiety to students, school staff, parents and guardians alike. Hopefully, there will be a lot less disruption this year.

I would like to thank all students, school staff, parents and guardians for all they have done over the last two years and all they will do this school year.

The Council has been working with schools to make them as safe as possible for the next school term. We have provided all primary and secondary schools in the Borough carbon dioxide monitors.

The portable monitors will allow schools to assess where ventilation needs improvement and take steps to improve airflow, such as opening a window or door, so that any potential virus particles from indoors spaces are blown away.

Schools are the best place for students to be, but the virus has not gone away and we must all remain cautious. I encourage anyone over 16 who has not yet got their vaccination to do so at one of the free walk-in sites.

It is important that everyone follows the rules and guidance that schools put in place to ensure students, teachers and other school staff are kept as safe as possible.

As schools return, staff and students (aged 11 years and above) will also be asked to continue twice-weekly Coronavirus lateral flow testing, with two on-site tests provided for secondary and college students.

Students who receive a positive lateral flow test should self-isolate and book a follow-up PCR test. If the PCR test is positive they will need to self-isolate for 10 full days.

Secondary school and college age students under 18 years and 6 months who have been in close contact with someone who receives a positive test will no longer have to self-isolate but are encouraged to take a PCR test.

Students aged 11 and over who travel to school on public or dedicated school transport are expected to wear a face covering, unless they are exempt.

For more information and opening times of local vaccination drop in clinics, visit

Free lateral flow testing kits can be collected from participating local pharmacies or ordered online at

This is a monthly guest column provided by
Mayor Dave Hodgson (Liberal Democrats).
It is published unedited and does not reflect the
views of the Bedford Independent.

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