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Home schooling and school shut down latest

Posted on: 05/06/2020

 Department for EducationLatest news on Coronavirus from the DFE: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

We are continuing to keep you updated on the government’s response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

Letter from Mr. Murphy - Term 6 01/06/2020 Coronavirus FSM eCodes Parent Guide


The Secretary of State for education directed all schools in England and Wales to close on 23 March as part of the Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Thereafter, the Department for Education provided guidance on the safeguarding of pupils during the period of school closure. The Aquinas Trust and the Academy are complying with this guidance as reflected in the addendum to the Trust Safeguarding Policy (the Addendum), which is found on the ‘Policies’ page of the Aquinas website www.aquinastrust.org. For the period of school closure, the Academy’s Child Protection Policy will be altered as detailed in the Addendum.


Department for Education Coronavirus helpline

The DfE have launched a new helpline to answer questions about COVID-19 related to education. Staff, parents and young people can contact the helpline as follows:

Phone: 0800 046 8687
Email: DfE.coronavirushelpline@education.gov.uk
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)

No school should close in response to a suspected (or confirmed) COVID-19 case unless directed to do so by Public Health England.


Temporary FSM Extension

Free school meals application form for NRPF groups


05/06/2020

Updated guidance on school governance

The Secretary of State for Education has written to trustees and governors of maintained schools and academy trusts. We have also published frequently asked questions to support governors, trustees, governance professionals, clerks and chairs, in both the maintained and academy sectors, and to address the specific issues pertinent to governing and trust boards and local governing bodies (LGBs) during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

The letter and FAQs can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-governance-update


04/06/2020

Guidance on year 11 transition funding for alternative provision schools and colleges

We have published guidance that sets outs the financial support available to alternative provision (AP) schools and colleges to support current year 11 students into post-16 education. The funding will help schools and colleges pay for tailored support to help students stay in education or training.

The guidance can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/alternative-provision-year-11-transition-funding

Updated guidance on the actions for schools during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

We have updated our guidance on the actions for schools during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak to include additional information on the NHS Test and Trace programme, the necessity to prioritise certain year groups during the wider re-opening of schools and travelling to and from school. 

We have also added new information on the provision of education in boarding schools, managing boarding houses with the return of more pupils and managing cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) within these settings. 

The guidance can be found here: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-school-closures

Guidance for higher education providers on re-opening buildings and campuses

We have published guidance for higher education providers in England on when and how to re-open their campuses and buildings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

The guidance can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/higher-education-reopening-buildings-and-campuses

Updated advice for tier 2, 4 and 5 visa sponsors of students or employees

The Home Office and UK Visas and Immigration has updated their guidance for tier 2, 4 and 5 visa sponsors in the UK who are supporting those affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Scanned documents can now be submitted as evidence due to the exceptional circumstances of coronavirus (COVID-19). These arrangements will apply until 30 June, when they will be reviewed.

The guidance can be found here: 

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-for-tier-2-4-and-5-sponsors


03/06/2020

Updated guidance on the actions for early years and childcare providers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

We have updated our guidance on the actions for early years and childcare providers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak to include additional information on the early years entitlements funding and infection prevention and control. We have also added new information on the use of community centres or places of worship as premises for providers on the early years register, before and after school clubs, attendance and information on safeguarding and welfare. 

The guidance can be found here: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-early-years-and-childcare-closures

Updated guidance on providing apprenticeships during the coronavirus outbreak

We have updated our guidance on providing apprenticeships during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak to include information on which apprentices should be prioritised for face-to-face training from 15 June, and details of the flexibility that enables apprentices to take end-point assessment ahead of receiving their calculated functional skills qualification results.

The guidance can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-apprenticeship-programme-response

Updated guidance on what parents and carers need to know about education settings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

We have updated our guidance on what parents and carers need to know about schools and other education settings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak to include information on the curriculum, after school activities, repeating a year for pupils, transport and keeping children safe online. We have also amended information on whether it is compulsory to send pupils to educational settings and education for children at home. 

The guidance can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers

Ofsted to review the online further education experience of students and apprentices during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

Ofsted is carrying out an exploratory review of the quality of learners’ experiences of online education in further education and skills settings. Ofsted will carry out the review this month and will speak remotely to managers, teachers and trainers from further education colleges and skills providers who have volunteered to discuss their delivery of online teaching and learning.

The review aims to provide insights into the sector’s experiences of online education and to identify areas of strength and potential for improvement. This will support post-16 providers re-visiting their online education strategies, particularly from September 2020 onwards.

Further information can be found here: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/ofsted-to-review-students-and-apprentices-online-further-education-experience


02/06/2020

Updated guidance for parents and carers on the wider opening of educational settings

We have updated our information for parents and carers about the wider opening of education settings to include details about opening secondary schools to years 10 and year 12 pupils from 15 June and to provide links to guidance on safer travel.

The guidance can be found here: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers


01/06/2020

Wider opening of educational settings

Today, children in early years, Reception, year 1 and year 6 began returning to primary schools and early years settings. We would like to thank teachers, senior leaders, support staff and all those working in education who have continued to support children throughout the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and have worked hard to prepare for the wider opening of education and childcare settings. 

Updated guidance on supply of personal protective equipment (PPE)

If education or childcare settings cannot obtain the personal protective equipment (PPE) they need, they should approach their local authority to help. Local authorities should, wherever possible, support them to access local PPE markets and available stock. 

If the local authority is not able to meet the PPE needs of education and childcare providers, the local authority should approach their nearest local resilience forum which will allocate stock if it is available.

If neither the local authority or local resilience forum is able to respond to an education or childcare setting’s unmet urgent need for PPE, the setting will need to make their own judgement in line with their risk assessment as to whether it is safe to continue to operate.

If children’s homes, secure children’s homes, residential special schools, or other children’s social care settings have an unmet urgent need for PPE in order to operate safely, they should continue to approach their local resilience forum.

Information on PPE can be found in the guidance on implementing protective measures in education and childcare settings:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-implementing-protective-measures-in-education-and-childcare-settings

Changes to the law on education, health and care needs assessments and plans due to coronavirus (COVID-19)

We have updated our guidance on temporary legislative changes to education, health and care (EHC) needs assessments to include information on cases in progress on 1 May 2020 when the amended regulations came into force, annual reviews requirements for those with EHC plans who are transitioning between phases of their education, actions following a tribunal ruling, and the unchanged duties in relation to social care provision. 

The guidance can be found here: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/changes-to-the-law-on-education-health-and-care-needs-assessments-and-plans-due-to-coronavirus

Space related educational resources for home schooling

The UK Space Agency has published a collection of space related educational resources that schools, parents and carers can use when teaching their children at home.

The resources are available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/space-related-educational-resources-for-home-schooling

Updated advice for tier 2, 4 and 5 visa sponsors

The Home Office and UK Visas and Immigration has updated their guidance for tier 2, 4 and 5 visa sponsors in the UK who are supporting those affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The arrangements for students who are distance learning will apply until 31 July 2020, when they will be reviewed.

The guidance can be found here: 

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-for-tier-2-4-and-5-sponsors


29/05/2020

Primary schools and early years settings opening to more pupils from 1 June

The Prime Minister has confirmed that the government’s five tests are now being met, and based on all the evidence we will now move forward with plans for the wider opening of education and early years settings. From 1 June, primary schools will begin to welcome back children in Reception, year 1 and year 6, while nurseries and other early years providers will begin welcoming back children of all ages.

Full details of this announcement can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/pm-press-conference-statement-on-the-five-tests-28-may-2020

Changes to the school exclusion process during the coronavirus outbreak

We have published guidance on the temporary changes we have made to the school exclusion process due to the coronavirus outbreak. The arrangements come into force on 1 June 2020 and will apply to all exclusions occurring from then until 24 September 2020 (inclusive of those dates). 

The guidance can be found here: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-exclusion

Updated guidance on providing free school meals during the coronavirus outbreak

We have updated our guidance on the provision of free school meals during the coronavirus outbreak to include updated information on the provision of meals for pupils attending school, the national voucher scheme and the use of food parcels. 

The guidance can be found here: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance

Testing now available to anyone with symptoms of coronavirus

The government has announced that anyone with symptoms of coronavirus is now eligible to book a test, including children under the age of 5 years. Anyone experiencing a new, continuous cough; high temperature; or a loss of, or change, in their normal sense of smell or taste (anosmia) can book a test. 

A coronavirus test can be booked here: 

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

Essential workers in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, can apply for priority testing through GOV.​UK. A coronavirus test can be booked here: 

https://www.gov.uk/apply-coronavirus-test-essential-workers


26/05/2020

Updated guidance on supporting children and young people with complex special educational needs and disability (SEND)

We have updated our guidance for educational settings managing children and young people with complex special educational needs and disability (SEND). The guidance includes new information on the recommended approaches that local authorities, educational settings and parents should follow for the return of more children and young people with complex needs or education, health and care (EHC) plans to educational settings from 1 June 2020, at the earliest. 

The guidance can be found here: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-send-risk-assessment-guidance

Preparing for the wider opening of schools and early years settings

We have published planning guides for early years providers and school leaders to help them prepare for the wider opening of settings to more children. 

Guidance for secondary schools to help them prepare to offer face-to-face support to year 10 and year 12 pupils from 15 June can be found here: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/preparing-for-the-wider-opening-of-schools-from-1-june/planning-guide-for-secondary-schools


22/05/2020

Remote education during the coronavirus outbreak

We have been working with schools to develop guidance for remote education based on the current experiences and practices of teachers and school leaders.

Guidance on remote education practice for schools during the coronavirus outbreak can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/remote-education-practice-for-schools-during-coronavirus-covid-19

Guidance for schools on supporting pupils’ wellbeing and providing pastoral care can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/supporting-pupils-wellbeing

Updated guidance for schools on adapting teaching practice for remote education can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/adapting-teaching-practice-for-remote-education

Guidance on adapting teaching practice for remote education at a special needs secondary schools can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/case-studies/adapting-teaching-practice-for-remote-education-at-a-special-needs-secondary-school

Updated guidance on safeguarding procedures when teaching remotely can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/safeguarding-and-remote-education-during-coronavirus-covid-19

Case studies on remote education during the coronavirus outbreak

We have published additional case studies providing examples of remote education practice during the coronavirus outbreak. These case studies have been gathered by consulting with schools and academies across England and are based on the current experiences and practices of teachers and school leaders.

The case studies can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/case-studies-remote-education-practice-for-schools-during-coronavirus-covid-19

Updated poster providing guidance on hygiene in educational settings

Public Health England has published an updated poster that provides guidance on hygiene in educational settings.

The poster can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19


21/05/2020

Guidance for parents and carers on supporting their children’s education during the coronavirus outbreak

We have published information, guidance and support for parents and carers of children who are learning at home during the coronavirus outbreak.

Guidance on helping secondary school children continue their education during the coronavirus outbreak can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/help-secondary-school-children-continue-their-education-during-coronavirus-covid-19

We have updated our guidance on helping primary school aged children learn at home to include information on the wider opening of educational settings.

The guidance can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/help-primary-school-children-continue-their-education-during-coronavirus-covid-19


20/05/2020

Celebrating Thank a Teacher Day

Today we are saying thank you to teachers, senior leaders, support staff and all those working in education settings who are making a difference to their schools and communities during the coronavirus outbreak. To mark the day, you can send a free thank you card to a colleague. 

The Secretary of State for Education, Gavin Williamson, said: “Thank a Teacher Day gives us all a great opportunity to thank everyone working in education, but I especially wanted to express my respect and admiration for all staff in nurseries, schools and colleges for going above and beyond to help this country tackle coronavirus and continue to support young people.”

Free thank you cards can be found here:

https://thankateacher.co.uk/

To find out more about what the department is doing celebrate, sign up to our teacher mailing list here:

https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKDFE/subscriber/new

Updated guidance on the apprenticeship programme

We have updated our guidance for apprentices, employers and training providers during the coronavirus outbreak. This update includes additional information on training and assessing apprentices in line with the government’s new safer working guidelines, calculating wages for furloughed apprentices, off-the-job training, and redundant apprentices.

The guidance can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-apprenticeship-programme-response

Updated guidance on safeguarding in schools, colleges and other providers during the coronavirus outbreak

We have updated our guidance on safeguarding in education and childcare settings during the coronavirus outbreak as they plan for wider opening. The guidance includes advice on updating the child protection policy, designated safeguarding lead arrangements, protecting vulnerable children and mental health support for children and young people. 

The guidance can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-safeguarding-in-schools-colleges-and-other-providers


19/05/2020

Testing now available to anyone with symptoms of coronavirus

The government has announced that anyone with symptoms of coronavirus is now eligible to book a test, ahead of the rollout of the test and trace service. Anyone experiencing a new, continuous cough; high temperature; or a loss of, or change, in their normal sense of smell or taste (anosmia) can book a test. 

A coronavirus test can be booked here: 

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

Essential workers in England, Scotland or Northern Ireland, can apply for priority testing through GOV.​UK. A coronavirus test can be booked here: 

https://www.gov.uk/apply-coronavirus-test-essential-workers

Updated guidance on managing school premises during the coronavirus outbreak

We have updated our guidance on managing school premises during the coronavirus outbreak with information on preparing for the wider opening of schools, including guidance on water systems, ventilation, fire safety and cleaning.

The guidance can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/managing-school-premises-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak

Guidance on the wider opening of education and childcare settings

We have published guidance on our plans to open education and childcare settings to more children from 1 June, at the earliest. 

Guidance on the actions for education and childcare settings to prepare for wider opening from 1 June, at the earliest, can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-educational-and-childcare-settings-to-prepare-for-wider-opening-from-1-june-2020

Guidance on implementing protective measures in education and childcare settings can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-implementing-protective-measures-in-education-and-childcare-settings

Guidance for parents and carers as schools and other education settings in England open to more children and young people can be found here: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers


18/05/2020

Secretary of State for Education’s statement on coronavirus

Secretary of State for Education, Gavin Williamson, spoke at the daily press conference on Saturday about the Government’s response to the coronavirus outbreak and plans for schools safely opening to more pupils.

The transcript of the speech can be found here: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/education-secretarys-statement-on-coronavirus-covid-19-16-may

Guidance on supporting vulnerable children and young people during the coronavirus outbreak

We have updated our guidance for education settings and local authorities on supporting vulnerable children and young people. This now reflects plans for more year groups to return to education settings and confirms that vulnerable children and young people remain a priority and are expected to attend if appropriate.

This guidance can be found here: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-vulnerable-children-and-young-people

Updated guidance on the actions for early years and childcare providers during the coronavirus outbreak

We have updated our guidance on the actions for early years and childcare providers during the coronavirus outbreak. This includes confirmation that we are asking childcare providers to prepare for wider opening from 1 June, at the earliest, information on the provision that childminders can currently provide and when they can reopen to more children, and information for parents on the temporary changes to the 30 hours free early education entitlements.

The guidance can be found here: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-early-years-and-childcare-closures

Guidance on awarding qualifications in summer 2020

Ofqual has published additional information for heads of centre, heads of department and teachers on objectivity in grading and ranking when awarding grades for GCSE, AS and A levels in summer 2020.

The guidance can be found here: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/awarding-qualifications-in-summer-2020

Updated guidance on providing free school meals during the coronavirus outbreak

We have updated our guidance on the provision of free school meals during the coronavirus outbreak to reflect the plans for the wider opening of schools from 1 June, at the earliest.

The guidance can be found here: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance


15/05/2020

Preparing for wider opening of schools: a planning guide for primary schools

We have published a planning guide for primary school leaders to help them open their schools to more pupils from week commencing 1 June. The guide has been designed by school leaders for school leaders. It is intended to be a starting point from which those responsible for mainstream primary schools can develop their plans for wider opening to include all pupils in Reception, year 1 and year 6, alongside the children of critical workers and vulnerable children. This planning guide builds on the recently published planning framework.

The planning guide for primary schools can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/preparing-for-the-wider-opening-of-schools-from-1-june

The initial planning framework for schools in England can be found here: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-educational-and-childcare-settings-to-prepare-for-wider-opening-from-1-june-2020

New guidance on safe working in education, childcare and children’s social care

We have published new guidance on preventing and controlling infection, including the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), in education, childcare and children’s social care settings during the coronavirus outbreak. This guidance is for all staff in education, childcare and children’s social care settings, young people and parents. This guidance explains the principles of infection prevention and control to enable safe working during the coronavirus outbreak including advice on minimising contact, changes to work practices, hand and respiratory hygiene, increased cleaning of the environment and when you might need to use PPE.

The guidance can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/safe-working-in-education-childcare-and-childrens-social-care

Updated guidance on the actions for further education colleges and providers during the coronavirus outbreak

We have updated our guidance on the actions for further education colleges and providers during the coronavirus outbreak. This update provides further information to plan for wider opening, including what to consider and the steps to take when planning increased attendance. We have also updated the information on safeguarding and mental health support.

The guidance can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-further-education-provision


14/05/2020

Preparations for national thank a teacher day – Wednesday 20 May

On Wednesday 20 May, we are celebrating teachers, senior leaders, support staff and all those working in education settings who are making a difference to their schools and communities during the coronavirus outbreak. 

The Department for Education is working in partnership with the Teaching Awards Trust which has produced a set of resources including a Thank a Teacher toolkit containing graphics, images and frames for social media that you’re free to use.

The Thank a Teacher Toolkit is available here:

https://thankateacher.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Thank-a-Teacher-Day-2020-Tool-Kit.pdf

Coronavirus testing eligibility and how test and testing kits work

Anyone in England showing symptoms of coronavirus who has to leave the home to go to work, or is aged 65 and over, is eligible for testing along with members of their households with symptoms. This is in addition to all essential workers with symptoms. 

Guidance on coronavirus testing, including who is eligible for a test, how to get tested and the different types of test available can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested

The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency has published guidance for members of the public and patients about coronavirus tests and testing kits, including information on the different types of tests available and how they work.

The guidance can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-tests-and-testing-kits-for-coronavirus-covid-19-work

Updated guidance from the Student Loans Company

Deputy CEO of the Student Loans Company, David Wallace, is advising students thinking about going to university for the first time this autumn to complete their funding applications online as soon as possible. 

New students are being asked to submit their applications before 22 May 2020. The deadline for returning student applications is 19 June.

Applications for student finance can be made here:

https://www.gov.uk/student-finance

The Student Loans Company has updated their guidance for prospective students to include guidance for those whose academic year is extended because of the coronavirus outbreak and for migrant worker student applicants.

The guidance can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/guidance-for-current-students


12/05/2020

Guidance on the wider opening of education and childcare settings

Yesterday we published guidance on our plans to open education and childcare settings to more children from 1 June. 

Guidance on the actions for education and childcare settings to prepare for wider opening from 1 June can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-educational-and-childcare-settings-to-prepare-for-wider-opening-from-1-june-2020

Guidance on implementing protective measures in education and childcare settings can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-implementing-protective-measures-in-education-and-childcare-settings

Guidance for parents and carers as schools and other education settings in England open to more children and young people can be found here: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers

Safer travel guidance for passengers during the coronavirus outbreak

The Department for Transport has published guidance on travelling safely during the coronavirus outbreak, providing information on walking, cycling, using private vehicles, travelling in taxis and on public transport. Information on children travelling on public transport is also provided in this guidance. 

The guidance can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-travel-guidance-for-passengers

Working safely during the coronavirus outbreak

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has published guidance on working safely during the coronavirus outbreak. This guidance is to help employers and employees understand how to work safely and covers offices, labs and research facilities, construction and factories which may be relevant to some education settings. 

The guidance can be found here: 

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19

The UK Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy

The government has published its roadmap for how and when the UK will adjust its response to the coronavirus outbreak. This document describes the progress the UK has made to date in tackling the coronavirus outbreak and sets out the plans for moving to the next phase of its response to the virus.

The roadmap can be found here: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/our-plan-to-rebuild-the-uk-governments-covid-19-recovery-strategy

Frequently asked questions on what you can and can’t do during the coronavirus outbreak have also been published. Those relating to schools and childcare can be found at section 6: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do

Actions for education and childcare settings to prepare for wider opening from 1 June

From 1 June we expect to be able to ask primary schools to welcome back children in nursery, Reception, year 1 and year 6. We will also ask secondary schools, sixth form and further education colleges to offer some face-to-face support before the summer holidays to supplement the remote education of year 10 and year 12 students who are due to take key exams next year. Nurseries and other early years providers, including childminders, will also be asked to begin welcoming back children from 1 June. Existing arrangements for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers in all settings will continue, and we encourage all eligible children in these priority groups to attend.

We have published guidance for education and childcare settings on the actions required to prepare for wider opening from 1 June. In this document we set out the overarching aims and principles of this next phase. We will work with the sector to produce further guidance ahead of 1 June.

The guidance can be found here: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-educational-and-childcare-settings-to-prepare-for-wider-opening-from-1-june-2020

Implementing protective measures in education and childcare settings

We have published guidance on the implementation of protective measures in education and childcare settings. There are important actions that can be taken to open settings to more children in the safest way possible, focusing on protective measures that can be put in place to limit the risk of the virus spreading. 

The guidance can be found here: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-implementing-protective-measures-in-education-and-childcare-settings

Guidance for parents and carers as schools and other education settings in England open to more children and young people

We have published guidance for parents and carers on the opening of schools and other education settings to more children. This guidance provides information on when and how we will open education settings to more children.

The guidance can be found here: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers


11/05/2020

Phased opening of early years settings and schools to more pupils from 1 June

Yesterday, the Prime Minister addressed the nation on coronavirus. The Prime Minister announced that from 1 June at the earliest, primary pupils may be able to begin going back into school in stages, beginning with Reception, year 1 and year 6. Our ambition is that secondary pupils facing exams next year will get some time with their teachers before the summer holidays. We will also ask childcare settings to prepare to open for more children from 1 June. 

We will publish further guidance setting out more information for early years, schools and colleges later today. We will send a second email update once they are available on GOV.​UK.

The transcript and recording of the Prime Minister’s address to the nation can be found here: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/pm-address-to-the-nation-on-coronavirus-10-may-2020

Updated guidance on early years initial teacher training (ITT) requirements

We have updated our guidance for providers that offer early years ITT to reflect the measures to be taken during the coronavirus outbreak.

The guidance can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/early-years-itt-requirements-supporting-advice

Updated guidance on the actions for further education colleges and providers during the coronavirus outbreak

We have updated our guidance on the actions for further education colleges and providers during the coronavirus outbreak. This update includes new sections on high needs funding for students with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and traineeship flexibilities, updates on functional skills flexibility in apprenticeships and the acceptance of confirmation emails for qualification achievement from awarding organisations.

The guidance can be found here: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-further-education-provision

Updated guidance on conducting a special educational needs and disability (SEND) risk assessment during the coronavirus outbreak

We have updated our guidance for settings managing children and young people with complex special educational needs and disabilities during the coronavirus outbreak. The guidance has been updated to reflect the SEND regulation changes, new information on how the guidance affects children and young people with an education, health and care (EHC) plan and a social worker, new information on how to keep staff and pupils safe and reducing the risk of infection in educational settings.

The guidance can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-send-risk-assessment-guidance

 


07/05/2020

Updated guidance for children’s social care services

We have updated our guidance for local authorities and their partners to help support and protect vulnerable children during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. This guidance has been updated to reflect the temporary changes made in the Adoption and Children (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020.

The guidance can be found here: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-childrens-social-care-services

Online education resources list: supplier application

We are reviewing and updating our published list of online educational resources which support children learning from home during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

We are inviting suppliers to apply to us if they would like their resource to be included. If you are using a resource that you find helpful for online learning in your school, please do encourage your supplier to apply. Resources must offer free online content covering at least one of the following areas:

  • English
  • Maths
  • Science
  • PE
  • Mental wellbeing
  • Special educational needs and disability (SEND)

The deadline for applications is 12 May.

Further information on how to apply can be found here: 

https://consult.education.gov.uk/stem-education/97ed0264/


06/05/2020

Guidance on remote education practices for schools during coronavirus (COVID-19)

We have published guidance on remote education practice for schools during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. This guidance is based on the current experiences and practices of teachers and school leaders with case studies and information about:

  • supporting pupils’ wellbeing
  • adapting teaching practice for remote education
  • adapting the curriculum for remote education
  • keeping pupils motivated and engaged

The guidance can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/remote-education-practice-for-schools-during-coronavirus-covid-19

The case studies can be found here: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/case-studies-remote-education-practice-for-schools-during-coronavirus-covid-19

Guidance on getting technology support for children and schools during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak can be found here: 

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/get-help-with-technology-for-remote-education-during-coronavirus-covid-19

Department for Education funding for training on digital platforms

We recently announced that we have partnered with Google and Microsoft to help schools to access education platforms. To support schools get set up and use the resource effectively, government-funded training of up to £2,000 is available.

Schools can apply for this funding through the Key for School Leaders:

https://covid19.thekeysupport.com/covid-19/deliver-remote-learning/make-tech-work-you/digital-education-platform-hub/

Schools and colleges can register their interest to receive peer-led advice and training on the use of online platforms here: 

https://edtech-demonstrator.lgfl.net/

Eligibility for government childcare offers protected

The government has announced that any working parent usually eligible for 30 hours free childcare or Tax-Free Childcare will remain eligible if they fall below the minimum income requirement due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Subject to Parliamentary approval, parents who are critical workers will also remain eligible for these entitlements if their income has increased over the maximum threshold during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

This temporary flexibility will ensure critical workers can continue to access the childcare they need to enable them to work. These arrangements will be reviewed over the summer.

This announcement can be found here: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/eligibility-for-government-childcare-offers-protected

Ofqual publishes initial decisions on GCSE and A level grading proposals for 2020

Ofqual has published their initial decisions on the consultation for the exceptional arrangements they have put in place for awarding GCSEs, AS and A levels this summer. 

Ofqual has announced that students entered for these exams in year 10 and below will be eligible to receive calculated grades this summer. 

Further details on the outcome of the consultation can be found here: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/ofqual-publishes-initial-decisions-on-gcse-and-a-level-grading-proposals-for-2020


05/05/2020

Educational setting status form – request for feedback

We are looking for volunteers to test improvements to our educational settings status online form and provide feedback over the coming days and weeks. We are looking to speak to those who collate the information and complete the daily form through short remote sessions.

If you are able to help, please send your name and contact details to: 

DFE.EDUCATIONSETTINGSTATUS@education.gov.uk

Actions for higher education providers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

We have published guidance for higher education providers on the Government support package for universities and students, and the process for clearing and student number controls during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

The guidance can be found here: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-he-providers-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak Students should also read the student guide to coronavirus (COVID-19) published by the Office for Students for information about securing a place at university, the clearing process, accommodation, and finance. 

The student guide can be found here: 

https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/for-students/student-guide-to-coronavirus/questions-and-answers/

New virtual cyber initiative for teenagers

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has announced an online initiative that aims to inspire school pupils to work in the cyber security sector through a range of extracurricular activities including online classes. This provides the opportunity to learn and develop the important skills required for future jobs in areas like cyber security from home.

Full details of this announcement and the resources available can be found here: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-virtual-cyber-school-gives-teens-chance-to-try-out-as-cyber-security-agents-from-home


04/05/2020

Educational setting status form

Please accept our apologies for any problems you may have experienced on Friday 1 May when accessing the DfE Sign-in to submit your status and attendance data. We have resolved these issues and the service is now available again. 

Please continue to provide information on your educational setting’s status during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. If you were unable to submit your attendance data figures on Friday, please submit only today’s figures in your return. 

The online educational setting status form is available here:

http://www.education.gov.uk/educational-setting-status

Updated guidance for parents and carers on the closure of educational settings

The guidance for parents and carers on the closure of educational settings has been updated with additional information on the Friday 8 May Bank Holiday, a link to the updated admissions appeals guidance and updates to the support and educational resources available to parents to help them educate their children at home.

The guidance can be found here: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers

Private candidates entered for GCSEs, AS and A levels

Ofqual has published an update to its guidance on private candidates entered for GCSEs, AS and A levels this summer. 

The guidance can be found here: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/awarding-qualifications-in-summer-2020

The Joint Council for Qualifications has published supplementary information which is available here: 

http://www.jcq.org.uk/media-centre/news-releases/jcq-publishes-supplementary-information-on-validation-of-evidence

Schools, colleges and other exam centres that have accepted entries from private candidates for exams this summer should contact those candidates as soon as possible to let them know whether they will be able to provide centre assessment grades for them and include them in their centre’s rank order. Centres should seek advice from the exam board on more complex cases.

Government support package for universities and students

The Government has today announced a range of measures to protect students and the higher education sector from the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19). The stabilisation and support measures include temporary student number controls and £100m of public funding being brought forward to this academic year to help protect university research activities. In addition, an estimated £2.6bn of tuition fee payments will be bought forward to help universities better manage financial risks over the autumn.

This announcement can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-support-package-for-universities-and-students

Updated guidance on the induction of newly qualified teachers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

We have updated the guidance on the induction of newly qualified teachers (NQTs) during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. We recognise that the current situation will impact on the number of days NQTs may be absent this academic year. Absences related to coronavirus (COVID-19) will not count towards the 30 day absence limit or trigger an automatic extension of the induction.

The guidance can be found here: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-induction-for-newly-qualified-teachers


01/05/2020

Coronavirus Act 2020 – Notices to temporarily remove or relax statutory requirements in education and childcare

We recognise that during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, flexibility will be needed in education and childcare settings. Under the Coronavirus Act 2020, the Secretary of State for Education can issue notices to temporarily remove or relax statutory requirements and provisions in academy arrangements where this is an appropriate and proportionate action relating to the incidence or transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19). The Secretary of State for Education has issued four notices to: 

  • disapply offences for non-attendance in schools during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, so that parents will not be penalised if their child does not attend school. 
  • modify pupil registration requirements so that a child attending a school on a temporary basis because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak should not be registered as a pupil and should return to their usual school once it reopens. 
  • disapply the duty on Ofsted to undertake regular inspections of state-funded schools within prescribed intervals. Duties on other bodies to provide a statement of action and relating to the inspection of collective worship and denominational education are also disapplied.
  • modify the duty on local authorities to secure special educational provision and on health commissioning bodies to arrange health provision in accordance with education, health and care (EHC) plans, so that they can discharge this by using their ‘reasonable endeavours’.

The notices apply from 1 May 2020 to 31 May 2020. We will continuously review whether these notices are an appropriate and proportionate action in all the circumstances relating to the incidence or transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19). Further notices may be made as a result. 

We have also amended regulations to alter timescales relating to EHC plans. The usual timescales for EHC needs assessment and plan processes will be replaced by duties to act as soon as is reasonably practicable (or in line with any other timing requirement in the amended regulations). This guidance document will cover the period from 1 May 2020 to 25 September 2020 and will be kept under review. 

The guidance document can be found here: 

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/id/uksi/2020/471


30/04/2020

McColl’s joins the free school meals national voucher scheme

McColl’s has joined the list of supermarkets that will redeem vouchers secured through the free school meals national voucher scheme. Supermarkets available also include Aldi, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose, M&S, Asda and Morrisons. 

Guidance on providing free school meals during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: step by step guide for employers

HM Revenue and Customs has published a step by step guide that explains the information that employers need to provide to make a claim through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and also describes the processes involved.

This guide can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-job-retention-scheme-step-by-step-guide-for-employers


29/04/2020

Updated guidance on the actions for schools during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

We have updated our guidance on the actions for schools during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. This update includes information on the testing of education and childcare workers, provision of education on the 08 May Bank Holiday, and the continuation of recruitment. 

The guidance can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-school-closures

Students in England encouraged to apply now for student finance

The Student Loans Company has confirmed that the application service will remain open to students as part of its response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and are encouraging students in England to apply for student finance as soon as possible to ensure their finances are in place for the new academic year.

New students are being asked to submit their applications before 22 May 2020. The Student Loans Company is contacting returning students to remind them to reapply for their next year’s student finance. The deadline for these applications is 19 June.

Applications for student finance can be made here: 

https://www.gov.uk/student-finance

Public Health England has updated their guidance for households with possible coronavirus (COVID-19) infection

Public Health England has published guidance for households with grandparents, parents and children living together where someone is at risk or has symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) infection. 

The guidance can be found here: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing eligibility extended to help protect the most vulnerable

The government has announced that anyone in England showing symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) who has to leave the home to go to work, or is aged 65 and over, is eligible for testing along with members of their households with symptoms. This is in addition to all essential workers with symptoms. Testing can be booked through a new online system. 

Guidance on coronavirus (COVID-19) testing, including who is eligible for a test, how to get tested and the different types of test available can be found here: 

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested


27/04/2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing extended to all essential workers who have symptoms

The Government has announced that all essential workers in England and Scotland, and members of their households who are showing symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) can now be tested. This list of essential workers includes education and childcare staff: support and teaching staff, social workers and specialist education professionals in addition to social care staff.

Booking is done through a new online system. Employers can register and refer self-isolating staff, and employees are able to book a test directly for themselves or members of their household who are exhibiting symptoms.

Employees can choose to visit one of the drive-through testing sites across the country, or to receive a home testing kit. 

To obtain a login to the employer referral portal, employers of essential workers should contact: portalservicedesk@dhsc.gov.uk

Full details can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested

Updates to the school admission appeals process

It is important parents continue to have the right to appeal any school admission decisions. To enable this, we have made regulatory changes that came into force on 24 April 2020 and will remain in place until 31 January 2021. The new regulations give admission authorities the flexibility to manage appeals whilst ensuring families are supported and not disadvantaged by current measures to protect public health. 

The guidance can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-admissions-appeals-code

Ofqual seeks views on awarding vocational and technical qualifications in summer 2020

Ofqual has published a consultation on the exceptional arrangements for awarding vocational, technical and general qualifications (other than GCSEs, AS and A levels) in summer 2020. The deadline for responses is 8 May.

Further information on this consultation can be found here: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/ofqual-consultation-on-awarding-vocational-and-technical-qualifications-in-summer-2020

 


24/04/2020

Secretary of State for Education writes to education providers about vulnerable children and young people

The Secretary of State for Education, Gavin Williamson, has sent a letter to all education providers sharing his gratitude for your support in caring for our most vulnerable children and young people. This letter places special emphasis on your continued efforts to ensure as many of these children and young people are supported to attend an education setting where it is in their best interests to do so.

This letter can be found here:

https://twitter.com/GavinWilliamson/status/1253421199775817729

Further support for schools and colleges on online learning

Today we have written to local authorities, academy trusts and other responsible bodies overseeing schools, colleges and children’s social care outlining the process for ordering devices for vulnerable and disadvantaged young people. 

We have updated our guidance for school and colleges on how to order internet access and digital devices and access support to provide remote education during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. 

The guidance can be found here: 

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/get-help-with-technology-for-remote-education-during-coronavirus-covid-19

Safeguarding and security considerations for video conferencing in education

Whilst there is no expectation for teachers to stream or provide recorded videos, many schools, colleges and universities are using video conferencing platforms to provide remote education. It is important for educational settings to ensure that they are making use of the security features and filters on any service they choose to use. You should refer to the service providers’ official support site which will assist in setting the right security features and filters. 

We also recommend reviewing the guidance from the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) for organisations and individuals using video conferencing services securely:

https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/guidance/video-conferencing-services-using-them-securely

16 to 19 providers with an allocation for free meals in further education are now able to apply to the national voucher scheme

Earlier this month, the Department for Education confirmed details of a national voucher scheme for schools to provide vouchers to families eligible for free school meals. Schools with 16 – 19 pupils are already included in this scheme. Other 16 – 19 providers with an allocation for free meals will now be able to apply to the national voucher scheme, with the value of the vouchers being claimed back via Free Meals in FE/ 16 – 19 Discretionary Bursary allocations.

Should you wish to access the voucher scheme, providers will need to submit a business case to the ESFA. You will also need to submit a business case if you need to apply for additional funding to cover support for student meal costs that you cannot service from your existing Free Meals in FE or 16 – 19 Discretionary Bursary allocations. 

Full details can be found here: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance

Updated guidance on maintaining further education provision

We have updated our guidance for further education providers on maintaining education and skills training provision. This guidance now includes more information on vulnerable young people, industry placement through the Capacity and Delivery Fund and support for young people unable to access remote education. 

The guidance can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-further-education-provision

Updated guidance on apprenticeship programme

We have updated our guidance on apprenticeships and the response to coronavirus (COVID-19). This guidance now includes information on end-point assessment flexibilities, qualification certificates, and functional skill requirements.

The guidance can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-apprenticeship-programme-response

Guidance on managing school premises during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

We have published guidance on managing school premises which are partially open during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. This guidance explains what educational settings need to do to make sure children and staff are kept safe during reduced occupancy arrangements. 

In all educational settings, a member of staff should be identified with responsibility for managing premises. In the case of staff illness, cover arrangements should be put in place as soon as possible.

This guidance can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/managing-school-premises-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak

Updated guidance for parents and carers on the closure of educational settings

The guidance for parents and carers on the closure of educational settings has been updated with additional information on the resources available to parents to help them educate their children at home, eligibility for device and connectivity at home, and keeping children safe online. 

The guidance can be found here: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers

Guidance on provision through cluster and hub models

Guidance for educational settings considering, or already operating, a cluster or hub model has been published outlining the considerations which should be made. 

The guidance can be found here: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/using-clusters-and-hubs-to-maintain-educational-provision


23/04/2020

Update on national voucher scheme for schools providing free school meals

Schools and families have now converted over £20 million worth of vouchers into supermarket gift cards. If you have ordered eCodes and are waiting for them to be delivered, this can take up to 4 days. All orders placed up to 19 April have been delivered. 

Please note that if you have ordered eCodes to go direct to the school rather than direct to the family, then the school will either need to convert the eCode into a gift card for a supermarket and then give it to the family, or provide the family with instructions so they can convert the code into a voucher themselves. 

If you have not received eCodes you have ordered, please check your ‘junk’ folders before contacting Edenred at freeschoolmeals@edenred.com.

Full details of this scheme can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance


22/04/2020

Flexibility to use early years entitlement funding to secure childcare for children of critical workers and vulnerable children

Local authorities will, in exceptional cases, be able to redistribute their free childcare entitlement funding differently to ensure sufficient childcare places are available for the children of critical workers and for vulnerable children, where their usual arrangements are no longer possible as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19). 

We have updated our guidance on early years and childcare closures for local authorities, early years settings and childminders to include this information. 

The guidance can be found here: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-early-years-and-childcare-closures

Aldi joins free school meals national voucher scheme

Aldi has joined the list of supermarkets that will redeem vouchers secured through the free school meals national voucher scheme. Supermarkets available also include Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose, M&S, Asda and Morrisons. Schools will be able to order vouchers for Aldi through Edenred from the week commencing 27 April.

This announcement can be found here: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/aldi-joins-free-school-meal-voucher-scheme


21/04/2020

Reducing burdens on educational and care settings

To help reduce the burden on your setting at this time, we have cancelled or paused all but the most essential data collections, services, and requests from education and care settings until the end of June 2020. 

Further information and a full list of data collection changes for the remainder of the academic year can be found here: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-reducing-burdens-on-educational-and-care-settings

If you have any questions, please email managing.burdens@education.gov.uk.

New guidance on the temporary extension of free school meals eligibility

We are temporarily extending free school meal eligibility to include children from some groups who have no recourse to public funds (NRPF). This guidance explains who is eligible and how schools can confirm eligibility and award free school meals.

The guidance can be found here: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance

Guidance for Tier 4 sponsors and for short-term study students

The Home Office has published guidance that sets out temporary policy concessions for Tier 4 sponsors, Tier 4 students and short-term study students in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. This guidance includes information on student absences, distance learning, permitted study and extending short-term study leave for international students. 

This guidance can be found here: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-tier-4-sponsors-migrants-and-short-term-students


20/04/2020

Launch of the Oak National Academy online classroom and resource hub

The sector-led Oak National Academy has today launched its online classroom and resource hub. The Academy offers 180 video lessons each week for schools to use, across a broad range of subjects. The lessons cover children in Reception through to Year 10 and are free to use by both teachers and young people. 

The Oak National Academy can be accessed here:

https://www.thenational.academy/

Launch of BBC Bitesize

The BBC has today launched an education package across TV and online, featuring celebrities and teachers, helping to keep children learning at home and supporting parents. 

BBC Bitesize can be accessed here: 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize

Get help with technology and remote education during coronavirus (COVID-19)

Following the announcement by the Secretary of State for Education on Sunday 19 April, laptops and tablets will be made available to help the most disadvantaged young people access online learning and social care services. Young people and families eligible for devices must not already have access to one, and must be in one of the following groups:

  • Children with a social worker
  • Care leavers
  • Disadvantaged children in Year 10, ahead of sitting their GCSEs next year

Responsible bodies will need to work with schools to identify eligible young people, and then place an order through our website when it launches later this week. Where care leavers, children with a social worker at secondary school and disadvantaged children do not have an internet connection, they will also receive a 4G router. 

Schools will be able to keep these devices once they’ve reopened, allowing children and young people to continue to learn and receive support at home in the future.

Any 16 to 19-year olds in education without a suitable device and/or connectivity to study remotely and whose family can’t afford these costs will also be eligible for support via the 16-19 Bursary Fund. Decisions on support will be made by education providers.

Funding and financial support for education, early years and children’s social care

We have published guidance that sets out the financial support that is available for different types of education, early years and children’s social care providers in England.

This guidance can be found here: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-financial-support-for-education-early-years-and-childrens-social-care

Special educational needs and disability (SEND) risk assessment guidance

We have published guidance on risk assessment for settings supporting children and young people with an education, health and care plan during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

The guidance can be found here: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-send-risk-assessment-guidance

Guidance for schools on safeguarding and remote education during coronavirus (COVID-19)

We have published guidance to help schools and teachers understand how to follow safeguarding procedures when teaching remotely during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

This guidance can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/safeguarding-and-remote-education-during-coronavirus-covid-19

Guidance for parents and carers on supporting their children’s education during coronavirus (COVID-19)

We have published information, guidance and support for parents and carers of children who are learning at home during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. 

Guidance on helping children with special educational needs and disabilities learn at home can be found here: 

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/help-children-with-send-continue-their-education-during-coronavirus-covid-19

Updated guidance for parents and carers on the closure of educational settings

The guidance for parents and carers on the closure of educational settings has been updated with additional information on the support available for parents, online educational resources and support for vulnerable children. 

The guidance can be found here: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers

Guidance on supporting vulnerable children and young people during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

The guidance for education settings and local authorities on supporting vulnerable children and young people has been updated. This update includes clarification to the existing guidance on attendance. 

This guidance can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-vulnerable-children-and-young-people


17/04/2020

Updated guidance for parents and carers on the closure of educational settings

The guidance for parents and carers on the closure of educational settings has been updated with additional information on the resources and support available to help parents educate their children at home. 

The guidance can be found here: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers


16/04/2020

Updated guidance on early years and childcare closures

We have updated our guidance on early years and childcare closures for local authorities, early years settings and childminders. This update provides additional information on funding, staying open for children of critical workers and vulnerable children, the Early Years Foundation Stage statutory framework and opening over academic holidays. 

The guidance can be found here: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-early-years-and-childcare-closures

Ofqual seeks views on GCSE and A level grading proposals for 2020

Ofqual has published a consultation on the exceptional arrangements for awarding GCSE and A/AS levels in summer 2020. The deadline for responses is 29 April. 

Further information on this consultation can be found here: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/exceptional-arrangements-for-exam-grading-and-assessment-in-2020

We can confirm that A Level students will get their results on 13 August, and GCSE students will get theirs on 20 August as previously published.


15/04/2020

Changes to the school admission appeals process

It is important parents continue to have the right to appeal any school admission decisions. To enable this, we will be making regulatory changes that, subject to legislation, will come into force on 24 April 2020. The new regulations will relax some of the current requirements set out in the School Admission Appeals Code 2012, giving admission authorities flexibility to manage appeals whilst ensuring families are supported and not disadvantaged by current measures to protect public health. 

The guidance can be found here: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/admission-appeals-for-school-places

We will publish further guidance to support admission authorities and local authorities in carrying out admission appeals.

Please keep your Get Information About Schools (GIAS) contacts up to date

Please take this opportunity to review your contact information in GIAS. 

To update your record, please go to the GIAS home page, “Sign in” using your “DfE Sign-in” credentials and select GIAS from your available services here: 

https://www.get-information-schools.service.gov.uk/


09/04/2020

Schools to remain closed until further notice

All early years settings, schools and further education providers will remain closed until further notice, except for children of critical workers and children who are vulnerable. We will only re-open settings when the scientific advice indicates it is safe to do so.

Guidance on school and college accountability

Last week, we confirmed that we will not publish any school or college level educational performance data based on tests, assessments or exams for 2020. We have now published guidance that explains how school and college accountability will operate for the academic year 2019 to 2020.

The guidance can be found here: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-school-and-college-performance-measures

Update on national voucher scheme for schools providing free school meals

A number of schools have been in touch regarding non-receipt of an eCode. Edenred have instigated a re-send of 100% of all eCodes with a ‘Fulfilled’ status. This exercise will be completed by the end of today.

Full details of this scheme can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance

Use of video or teleconferencing to aid school governance

We advise against governing bodies meeting in person while educational settings are closed, and to instead adopt alternative arrangements, for example by using video or teleconferencing. If you are using video conferencing to meet as a governing body, then please consider the security of the platforms that you are using. You should read the privacy terms and conditions and ensure that where possible, you enable any security features. If you have any concerns, you might want to consult your IT provider or staff for support.

Advice available for staff from overseas

If staff from overseas have immigration concerns, please follow the government guidance about visas and immigration.

This guidance can be found here: 

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-for-uk-visa-applicants-and-temporary-uk-residents

If staff have questions about travelling during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, please refer to the government guidance on travel for educational settings. 

This guidance can be found here: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-travel-advice-for-educational-settings


08/04/2020

New guidance on the provision of initial teacher training (ITT)

We have published guidance on initial teacher training provision. These measures ensure trainees are given a fair opportunity to qualify and to safeguard teacher supply, balanced against the need to ensure those awarded qualified teacher status are of the appropriate standard. 

The guidance can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-initial-teacher-training-itt

Updated guidance for parents and carers on the closure of education settings

We have updated our guidance for parents and carers on the closure of educational settings to include information about the Easter holidays, examinations, and educational resources and support.

The guidance can be found here: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers

Updated guidance for schools about temporarily closing

We have updated our main guidance on the temporary closure of schools to include information on funding, Easter holidays and the practicalities of closures. 

You can read the guidance here: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-school-closures

Update on national voucher scheme for schools providing free school meals

Since launching the national free school meals voucher scheme, a large number of schools have activated their account with Edenred to support eligible pupils and their families. Every school was sent an activation email for the scheme between 31 March and 02 April. If you have not received an activation email for the scheme, please check your ‘junk’ folder before emailing freeschoolmeals@edenred.com. You will be directed to an online form and your details will be verified within 5 days, and a new activation email will be sent.

If you have ordered eCodes and are waiting for them to be delivered, this can take up to 72 hours. Please check the status of your order for further information:

If your order shows as ‘Paid’, your order is being processed with the eCodes being generated before they’re passed to ‘fulfilled’. This stage can take up to 48 hours.

If your order shows as ‘Fulfilled’, the eCodes are in the process of be-ing emailed out and should be received within 24 hours.

Full details of this scheme can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance


07/04/2020

Implementing social distancing in education and childcare settings

We have updated our guidance on social distancing in education and childcare settings, focusing on measures that can be put in place to help limit the risk of coronavirus (COVID-19) spreading within these settings. 

The guidance can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-implementing-social-distancing-in-education-and-childcare-settings

Funding available to schools to support them with exceptional costs associated with coronavirus (COVID-19)

The government is making extra funding available for schools to cover the unique challenges and financial costs of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. While we do not know at this stage how long the current situation will continue, this guidance covers support for schools up to the end of the 2019-20 summer term. 

The guidance can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-financial-support-for-schools

Update to free school meals provision over Easter holidays

The Government has confirmed it will extend financial support to children eligible for benefits-related free school meals who are not attending school during the Easter holidays. 

The guidance can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance

Online educational resources to support children to continue learning at home

We have published a list of online resources that parents, and schools can consider to support children to continue learning at home. The list will be updated over time, and includes a wide range of resources for all ages that schools can consider using as part of their planned curriculum. Schools have already been drawing on existing resources and tools they are familiar with to support children to continue learning at home and should continue to do so.

More information can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-online-education-resources

Updated guidance on apprenticeship programme

We have updated our guidance on the apprenticeship programme response to coronavirus (COVID-19) including information on the continuation of training and end point assessments for furloughed apprentices, and the pausing of new funding audits. 

The guidance can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-apprenticeship-programme-response


06/04/2020

New guidance for children’s social care services

We have published new guidance for local authorities and their partners to support and protect vulnerable children during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. 

You can read the guidance at: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-childrens-social-care-services

Updated guidance for schools about temporarily closing

We have updated our guidance on the temporary closure of schools to include information on the workforce, critical workers and safeguarding. 

You can read the guidance at: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-school-closures

Updated guidance on maintaining further education provision

We have updated our guidance for further education providers on maintaining education and skills training provision. This guidance now includes more information on funding, ongoing and online learning, and supporting vulnerable young people.

The guidance can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-further-education-provision

Updated handwashing advice

The most important thing individuals can do to protect themselves is to wash their hands more often. Soap and water and regular handwashing for at least 20 seconds is the best way of staying safe. Hand washing with soap employs mechanical action that loosens bacteria and viruses from the skin, rinsing them into the drain. Drying hands afterwards makes the skin less hospitable to the virus. Hand sanitiser can be effective if soap is not available or the situation makes using soap less feasible (i.e. when outside) but using hand sanitiser provides none of the virus-destroying friction that rubbing your hands together and rinsing with water provides.

A video on hand washing can be found at:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQCP7waTRWU&feature=youtu.be

The e-Bug project is led by Public Health England and has a dedicated webpage for learning resources on hand washing and respiratory hygiene. 

Resources are currently available for KS1, KS2 and KS3 and can be used in various settings including schools and at home: 

https://e-bug.eu/


03/04/2020

Letter from Mr. Murphy - 03/04/2020

FSM Eligibitlity 03/04/2020

Launch of Government Free School Meal Voucher Scheme 03/04/2020

Thank you message from the Secretary of State for Education

Gavin Williamson, Secretary of State for Education, has recorded a message for staff across the education and children’s social care sectors thanking you for all the exceptional work that you are doing during this challenging time. 

The message can be viewed here:

https://twitter.com/GavinWilliamson/status/1245763274496507904

Ofqual update on examinations

Since the Secretary of State announced that the 2020 exam series in England would be cancelled to help fight the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), Ofqual has developed a process which will fairly recognise students’ work and make sure they get their grades in time to progress. Ofqual has today set out how GCSEs, AS and A levels will be awarded this summer and published further guidance for education staff, students, parents and carers. 

For this summer’s awards, schools and colleges are being asked to provide centre assessment grades for their students. These should be fair, objective and carefully considered judgements of the grades schools and colleges believe their students would have been most likely to achieve if they had sat their exams and should take into account the full range of available evidence. 

Ofqual has published a message to students to reassure them that they, and exam boards, will do everything they can to make sure that, as far as possible, grades are fair and that students are not disadvantaged because of this unprecedented situation. 

Guidance from Ofqual on how qualifications will be graded and awarded in summer 2020 can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/gcses-as-and-a-level-awarding-summer-2020

Summer 2020 exams and school/college accountability

The department has confirmed that it will not hold schools or colleges to account on the basis of exams and assessment data from summer 2020, and that others, such as Ofsted and local authorities, should adopt the same approach. We will not be publishing, or sharing, institution-level school and college accountability measures, such as Progress 8 and Level 3 Value Added, using the summer 2020 data. 

We have set out details of statistical publications that will not be released this year and will be providing a further update for settings in due course. 

Updates on forthcoming statistical publications can be found here: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-education/about/statistics


02/04/2020

Guidance on the induction of newly qualified teachers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

We have published guidance on the induction of newly qualified teachers (NQTs) during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. We recognise that the current situation will impact on the number of absences newly qualified teachers take this academic year.

We will be making regulatory changes that, subject to parliamentary agreement, will mean that NQTs absent for reasons related to coronavirus (COVID-19) will not have their induction period automatically extended.

Details of the regulatory changes being made, and a series of frequently asked questions, can be found here: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-induction-for-newly-qualified-teachers

Updated guidance on early years and childcare closures

We have updated our guidance on early years and childcare closures for local authorities, early years settings and childminders. This update provides clarification on the income support available and the requirements for providing safe, quality care for vulnerable and critical workers’ children.

The guidance can be found here: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-early-years-and-childcare-closures

Update on national voucher scheme for schools providing free school meals

On Tuesday 31 March, we announced that schools can provide children eligible for benefits-related free school meals with a weekly shopping voucher worth £15 while schools are closed due to coronavirus (COVID-19). 

Schools can continue to provide meals for collection or delivery themselves, but where this is not possible, the scheme will allow schools to provide vouchers to families electronically, or as a gift card for those without internet access. 

If schools have not received their activation email from the Department for Education’s supplier, Edenred, they should check their ‘junk’ folders before contacting the DfE helpline on 0800 046 8687. 

Once verified, schools will receive an activation email containing a step-by-step user guide to ordering vouchers. 

Full details of this scheme can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance


01/04/2020

Guidance for parents and carers: keeping children safe online

We have updated our information for parents and carers to include a section on keeping children safe online. It provides links to online resources that will help support parents and carers in keeping their children safe online. 

Full details can be found in section 6.3 of the guidance for parents and carers on the closure of educational settings: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers

Excerpt from the latest DFE guidance:

6.3 Where can I go to get support to help keep my child safe online?

There is a lot of support available to keep your child safe online. Below are some useful links to help parents and carers:

Thinkyouknow (advice from the National Crime Agency to stay safe online)

Internet matters (support for parents and carers to keep their children safe online)

Parent info (support for parents and carers to keep their children safe online)

LGfL (support for parents and carers to keep their children safe online)

Net-aware (support for parents and careers from the NSPCC)

Updated guidance for schools about temporarily closing

We have updated our guidance on the temporary closure of schools to include more information on areas including social distancing, vulnerable children and working with other schools.

You can read the guidance at: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-school-closures


30/03/2020

Student Letter - 30/03/2020

Parent Letter - 30/03/2020

New guidance about safeguarding in schools and further education

We have published new guidance for schools and further education to support them to keep children safe, including online, during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-safeguarding-in-schools-colleges-and-other-providers

Collection of guidance for educational settings on GOV.​UK

All of the Department for Education’s coronavirus guidance for educational settings can now be found in one place on GOV.​UK at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-schools-and-other-educational-settings

Our main guidance for schools, the ‘school closures guidance’, will be regularly kept up-to-date. Any new advice for schools on specific issues, such as food, exams or safeguarding, will be linked from it: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-school-closures


27/03/2020

Guidance on implementing social distancing in education and childcare settings

On 24 March, we published new guidance on how to implement social distancing in education and childcare settings. This guidance also gives advice for individuals in vulnerable health groups:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-implementing-social-distancing-in-education-and-childcare-settings

It is important to read this alongside the overall guidance for social distancing: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-social-distancing-and-for-vulnerable-people/guidance-on-social-distancing-for-everyone-in-the-uk-and-protecting-older-people-and-vulnerable-adults

Location of guidance for educational settings on GOV.​UK

All of the Department for Education’s coronavirus guidance for educational settings can now be found in one place on GOV.​UK at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-schools-and-other-educational-settings

Our main schools guidance, the ‘school closures guidance’, will be regularly kept up-to-date. Any new advice for schools on specific issues, such as food, exams or safeguarding, will be linked from: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-school-closures


25/03/2020

Guidance on implementing social distancing in education and childcare settings

We have published new guidance on how to implement social distancing in education and childcare settings. This guidance also gives advice for individuals in vulnerable health groups:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-implementing-social-distancing-in-education-and-childcare-settings

It is important to read this alongside the overall guidance for social distancing:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-social-distancing-and-for-vulnerable-people/guidance-on-social-distancing-for-everyone-in-the-uk-and-protecting-older-people-and-vulnerable-adults


24/03/2020

Staying at home guidance

Yesterday, the Prime Minister addressed the nation on coronavirus (COVID-19) and asked people to stay at home, except for very limited purposes. 

There is no change in guidance for education settings, which remain closed except for the children of critical workers and vulnerable children. We continue to ask that parents keep their children at home, wherever possible. 

The full stay at home guidance is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/full-guidance-on-staying-at-home-and-away-from-others

Guidance for further education providers on maintaining education and skills training provision

We have published new guidance which explains what further education providers need to do during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak to maintain provision: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-further-education-provision


23/03/2020

Guidance on what schools will need to do during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

We have published new guidance for schools about temporarily closing and the principles we’d like all schools to follow:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-school-closures

Guidance on vulnerable children and young people

New guidance has been published answering some of your frequently asked questions about the provisions being made for vulnerable children and young people. This covers children and young people:

  • supported by the child social care system
  • with education health and care (EHC) plans
  • in alternative provision (AP) settings

You can access the guidance at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-vulnerable-children-and-young-people/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-vulnerable-children-and-young-people


20/03/2020

In order to all play our part, it is important that if children can stay safely at home they should do so to limit the chance of the virus spreading. Our schools will remain open for those children of key workers who absolutely need to attend. When things begin to change, schools will of course keep parents updated. Please be assured that all children on free school meals will be provided for we have already advised parents of the provision for home learning. These are unprecedented times and we know that as parents you will work with us so that we come through this together. 

Key Workers Letter - 20/03/2020

Please find a statement from the Department of Education regarding Examinations 2020. We will update you here with any further information as it is published.

Exams and Grades- 20/03/2020 Guidance for schools, colleges and local authorities on maintaining educational provision

Information to cascade to parents and carers

From Friday 20 March schools, childcare and other educational settings are closed for everyone except:

  • children of critical workers
  • vulnerable children

We have published guidance for parents and carers:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers

Critical workers

If parents’ work is critical to the coronavirus response, their children will be prioritised for early years and education provision.

The Government has published a list of critical workers:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision

Attendance reporting for educational settings to start from Monday 23 March

From Monday 23 March, educational settings should complete a short form to notify the Department for Education about their status regarding coronavirus (COVID-19).

The form will ask you to confirm whether your setting is open and, if so, provide information about numbers of pupils and staff attending. It will take you less than 2 minutes to complete. You should submit it by noon of each weekday. 

Your data will help us build a national picture of educational provision so that we can focus support more effectively. It will also help the Government monitor the impact of the virus.

You will need a ‘DfE sign-in’ account to access the form. We are writing separately to DfE Sign-in approvers in all education settings to help you with this.

We will send more information about recording attendance and completing the form tomorrow.

Further details on exams and grades announced

New details regarding the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on summer exams has been released.

The exam regulator, Ofqual, and exam boards will work with teachers to provide grades to students whose exams have been cancelled this summer, following our actions to slow the spread of coronavirus.

Ofqual and exam boards will be discussing with teachers’ representatives before finalising an approach, to ensure that it is as fair as possible.

Find details on the impact on summer exams here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/further-details-on-exams-and-grades-announced

More information will be provided as soon as possible.

Funding to support schools

To ensure schools can continue to pay their staff and meet other financial commitments, schools will continue to receive their budgets for the coming year regardless of any periods of partial or complete closure.

We will put in place a new process that allows us to reimburse schools for exceptional costs that they face as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19). 

Details of the scheme will be published in the coming days.


20/03/2020

Guidance for schools, colleges and local authorities on maintaining educational provision

As a country, we all need to do what we can to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

That is why the government has given clear guidance on self-isolationhousehold isolation and social distancing.

And the most recent scientific advice on how to further limit the spread of COVID-19 is clear. If children can stay safely at home, they should, to limit the chance of the virus spreading.

That is why the government has asked parents to keep their children at home, wherever possible, and asked schools to remain open only for those children who absolutely need to attend.

It is important to underline that schools, colleges and other educational establishments remain safe places for children. But the fewer children making the journey to school, and the fewer children in educational settings, the lower the risk that the virus can spread and infect vulnerable individuals in wider society.

Schools are, therefore, being asked to continue to provide care for a limited number of children - children who are vulnerable and children whose parents are critical to the Covid-19 response and cannot be safely cared for at home.

Vulnerable children include children who are supported by social care, those with safeguarding and welfare needs, including child in need plans, on child protection plans, ‘looked after’ children, young carers, disabled children and those with education, health and care (EHC) plans.

We know that schools will also want to support other children facing social difficulties and we will support head teachers to do so.

Parents whose work is critical to the COVID-19 response include those who work in health and social care and in other key sectors outlined below. Many parents working in these sectors may be able to ensure their child is kept at home. And every child who can be safely cared for at home should be.

Please, therefore, follow these key principles:

  1. If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be.
  2. If a child needs specialist support, is vulnerable or has a parent who is a critical worker, then educational provision will be available for them.
  3. Parents should not rely for childcare upon those who are advised to be in the stringent social distancing category such as grandparents, friends, or family members with underlying conditions.
  4. Parents should also do everything they can to ensure children are not mixing socially in a way which can continue to spread the virus. They should observe the same social distancing principles as adults.
  5. Residential special schools, boarding schools and special settings continue to care for children wherever possible.

If your work is critical to the COVID-19 response, or you work in one of the critical sectors listed below, and you cannot keep your child safe at home then your children will be prioritised for education provision:

Health and social care

This includes but is not limited to doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers, care workers, and other frontline health and social care staff including volunteers; the support and specialist staff required to maintain the UK’s health and social care sector; those working as part of the health and social care supply chain, including producers and distributers of medicines and medical and personal protective equipment.

Education and childcare

This includes nursery and teaching staff, social workers and those specialist education professionals who must remain active during the COVID-19 response to deliver this approach.

Key public services

This includes those essential to the running of the justice system, religious staff, charities and workers delivering key frontline services, those responsible for the management of the deceased, and journalists and broadcasters who are providing public service broadcasting.

Local and national government

This only includes those administrative occupations essential to the effective delivery of the COVID-19 response or delivering essential public services such as the payment of benefits, including in government agencies and arms length bodies.

Food and other necessary goods

This includes those involved in food production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery as well as those essential to the provision of other key goods (for example hygienic and veterinary medicines).

Public safety and national security

This includes police and support staff, Ministry of Defence civilians, contractor and armed forces personnel (those critical to the delivery of key defence and national security outputs and essential to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic), fire and rescue service employees (including support staff), National Crime Agency staff, those maintaining border security, prison and probation staff and other national security roles, including those overseas.

Transport

This includes those who will keep the air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating during the COVID-19 response, including those working on transport systems through which supply chains pass.

Utilities, communication and financial services

This includes staff needed for essential financial services provision (including but not limited to workers in banks, building societies and financial market infrastructure), the oil, gas, electricity and water sectors (including sewerage), information technology and data infrastructure sector and primary industry supplies to continue during the COVID-19 response, as well as key staff working in the civil nuclear, chemicals, telecommunications (including but not limited to network operations, field engineering, call centre staff, IT and data infrastructure, 999 and 111 critical services), postal services and delivery, payments providers and waste disposal sectors.

If workers think they fall within the critical categories above they should confirm with their employer that, based on their business continuity arrangements, their specific role is necessary for the continuation of this essential public service.

If your school is closed then please contact your local authority, who will seek to redirect you to a local school in your area that your child, or children, can attend.

We are grateful for the work of teachers and workers in educational settings for continuing to provide for the children of the other critical workers of our country. It is an essential part of our national effort to combat this disease.


19/03/2020

Letter to Students - 19/03/2020Announcement from Gavin Williamson, Secretary of State for Education - 19/03/2020

Schools, colleges and early years settings to close

Yesterday Gavin Williamson, the Secretary of State for Education, announced that as part of the country’s ongoing response to COVID-19, schools, colleges and early years settings have been asked to close to everyone except children of key workers and vulnerable children from Monday 23rd March

A full list of key worker categories will be published by the Cabinet Office later today. We will share this with you once this information is made available. 

Where schools are unable to provide this reduced provision, local authorities will work with the Department for Education’s regional teams to ensure an alternative option is available.

Further details on this announcement can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/schools-colleges-and-early-years-settings-to-close

The Department is working through the policy implications of this announcement and, over the coming days, will be sharing with you the further information that you need. 

Update on assessments and examinations 

Yesterday, we confirmed that we will not go ahead with assessments or exams, and that we will not be publishing performance tables for this academic year. Tomorrow we will provide greater clarity on how students and young people will be awarded the examination results that they deserve. 

New free school meals guidance

We have confirmed that we will give schools the flexibility to deliver meals or provide shop vouchers to children entitled to free school meals if they are no longer attending school, either due to closures or as a result of self-isolating at home. 

Schools will be able to provide meals or vouchers for supermarkets or local shops, which can be sent directly to families who are either self-isolating at home or whose schools are closed on government advice. Final rates will be confirmed in the coming days, but we have confirmed that the voucher value for each eligible child will exceed the rate that schools are paid for free school meals, recognising that families will not be buying food in bulk and may therefore incur higher costs.

Full guidance can be found here: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance

Update on school funding

We will put in place new measures, to reimburse schools for reasonable, additional costs that they face in order to stay safely staffed as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

Funding for all schools and colleges (including maintained and academy special schools, non-maintained special schools, independent special schools, pupil referral units, general further education colleges and special post-16 institutions), whether from local or central government, will be maintained and not reduced because many pupils are not in attendance (either because of self-isolation, or where the institution has closed). This includes top-up funding in respect of individual children and young people, which will still be needed by the school to keep their staff in employment.


COVID-19 Update - 16/03/2020

Access to Show My Homework Letter - 16/03/2020

 

Statement from the Education Secretary

Gavin Williamson, Secretary of State for Education, will be making a statement to the House of Commons at 5pm. Further updates will be circulated following this statement. 

COVID-19 Emergency Bill

Information was released yesterday on the COVID-19 Emergency Bill, which is to be published later this week. The Bill will include: 

  • a power to remove or relax some requirements around education and childcare legislation in order to help these institutions run effectively in the event of an emergency 
  • a power to require schools, further education and childcare settings to stay open or re-open, operate in ways to support continued education and childcare such as enable pupils / students to attend different premises, to enhance resilience of childcare and education sector 
  • a power to close educational institutions or childcare providers. This will happen only where necessary and proportionate, to help minimise disruption to everyday life. The measures would only be put in place for the period of time required to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak
  • powers to bring additional social workers onto the register of social workers held by the regulator, Social Work England  

The measures in the Bill are temporary, proportionate to the risks, will only be used when strictly necessary and will be in place only for as long as required to respond to the situation. 

This Bill will ensure the government has the powers it needs, when it needs them, to allow our vital public services to keep functioning and to save lives. 

Further detail will be available when the Bill is published later this week. 

Updated advice for non-essential travel worldwide

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) now advises British people against all non-essential travel worldwide. This advice takes effect immediately (from 17 March) and applies initially for a period of 30 days. 

The latest travel guidance can be found here: 

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus

Funding for free childcare offers to continue in the event of coronavirus closures

Yesterday, the Chancellor has confirmed the Government will continue to pay for free early years entitlement places even if settings are closed on the advice of Public Health England or children are not able to attend due to coronavirus. We expect local authorities to follow the Department’s position, and to continue early entitlements funding for all childminders, schools and nurseries. We will not be asking for funding back from local authorities. 

The Government’s advice remains that childcare settings should stay open unless advised otherwise by Public Health England, and yesterday’s announcement should help settings to continue to do so. This will minimise both longer-term disruption to parents and any income losses that providers may otherwise experience. 

The full statement can be found here: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/free-childcare-offers-to-continue-during-coronavirus-closures


New guidance for households with symptoms

Yesterday, the Government introduced new guidance on whole household isolation in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak:

  • if you live alone and you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), however mild, stay at home for 7 days from when your symptoms started
  • if you live with others and you or another member of the household have symptoms of coronavirus, then all household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill. It is likely that people living within a household will infect each other or be infected already. Staying at home for 14 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community
  • for anyone in the household who starts displaying symptoms, they need to stay at home for 7 days from when the symptoms appeared, regardless of what day they are on in the original 14-day isolation period.

The symptoms are:

  • A high temperature (37.8 degrees and above)
  • A new, continuous cough

The full stay at home guidance for households with these symptoms can be found here: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance​​
The Prime Minister’s statement from Monday 16 March can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/pm-statement-on-coronavirus-16-march-2020

Temporary suspension of Ofsted inspections

Ofsted is to temporarily suspend routine inspections of schools, colleges, early years settings, children’s social care providers and local authorities to reduce the burden on staff who are providing vital services to the nation in response to coronavirus.

The current medical and scientific advice is for schools and other educational establishments to stay open. If this changes and the Chief Medical Officer and the Chief Scientific Adviser say closing schools, colleges, and early years settings is in the best interests of children and teachers the Department will take that step.

The full announcement made by Gavin Williamson can be viewed here:

https://youtu.be/UkW7QcTsBcY

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/routine-ofsted-inspections-suspended-in-response-to-coronavirus


Current Advice and Guidance

The UK Government is closely monitoring the spread of the Coronavirus. 

We are following the latest advice and guidance:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public

People should not be unduly worried about the possibility of catching the coronavirus.

What to do if you have symptoms

Stay at home for 7 days if you have either:

  • A high temperature;
  • A new continuous cough.

This will help to protect others in your community while you are infectious.

Please notify the school on the first day of self-isolation and do not return for 7 days.

Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Your child should remain at home at all times.

You do not need to contact NHS 111 to tell them you’re staying at home.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-people-with-confirmed-or-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection

If you are at all concerned about symptoms contact NHS 111 or use their online service.

https://111.nhs.uk/service/COVID-19/

If you do so, please notify the school and share any additional advice.

Our Response

The best way for us to help prevent the spread of the Coronavirus is to follow the latest guidance issued by the UK Government.

We are encouraging our colleagues, young people and visitors to:

  • Wash their hands often – with soap and water, or use alcohol sanitiser if handwashing facilities are not available;
  • Cover any coughs or sneezes with a tissue then throw it in the bin – in line with “Catch it, Bin it, Kill it”;
  • Contact NHS 111 if in any doubt about symptoms, notify the school and share the advice.

Additionally,

  • We have adapted our cleaning regime to focus on doors, handles, surfaces, handrails and boards as well as the regular emptying of bins;
  • We have put an educational programme in place for all young people that promotes good levels of hygiene, handwashing and “Catch it, Bin it, Kill it”;
  • We have a plan for supporting children with their education in case of school closure. Plans to ensure the school runs efficiently during the pandemic are also in place.

We will continue to follow the UK Government’s guidance, and provide updates via our website.

Today, the Department for Education and Public Health England have issued updated guidance for education settings on COVID-19. This guidance will assist staff in addressing COVID-19 in educational settings. This includes childcare, schools, further and higher educational institutions.

What you need to know:

  • staff, young people and children should stay at home if they are unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature to avoid spreading infection to others. Otherwise they should attend education or work as normal
  • if staff, young people or children become unwell on site with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature they should be sent home
  • clean and disinfect regularly touched objects and surfaces more often than usual using your standard cleaning products
  • supervise young children to ensure they wash their hands for 20 seconds more often than usual with soap and water or hand sanitiser and catch coughs and sneezes in tissues

The updated guidance can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19#contents

Current advice remains in place: no education or children’s social care setting should close in response to a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case unless advised to do so by Public Health England.

The Chief Medical Officer has advised that the impact of closing schools on both children’s education and on the workforce would be substantial, but the benefit to public health may not be. Decisions on future advice to education or children’s social care settings will be taken based on the latest and best scientific evidence, which at this stage suggests children are a lower risk group.

Recording school pupil absences

Where a pupil is in self-isolation, in accordance with latest information and advice from Department of Health and Social Care and Public Health England, the pupil should be recorded as unable to attend due to exceptional circumstances in the attendance register. Code Y (Unable to attend due to exceptional circumstances) should be used in this instance.

If a pupil does not attend school, despite the school operating as usual and the pupil is not self-isolating, they should be marked as absent. It is for headteachers to determine whether or not the absence is authorised depending on the individual circumstances.Where a pupil cannot attend school due to illness, as normally would happen, the pupil should be recorded as absent in the attendance register and the school will authorise the absence. Code I (Illness) should be used in this instance.


Government coronavirus action plan

The government coronavirus action plan sets out what the UK has done to tackle coronavirus (COVID-19), and what we plan to do next.

The situation is constantly reviewed and action informed by expert science and advice, guided by the Chief Medical Officer and the Chief Scientific Adviser.

The action plan can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-action-plan

Action plan recap

The action plan sets out a four-phased approach in response to coronavirus – Contain, Delay, Mitigate, and Research, based on the latest scientific evidence.

The current emphasis is on the Contain and Research phases, however planning for Delay and Mitigation is already in train.

As part of the Contain phase, we have been providing advice to educational settings in England. We also launched a DfE helpline to manage the flow of increasing queries, from providers parents and young people.


The Prime Minister confirmed that the government’s response to COVID-19 remains in the Contain phase – the first phase in the government’s coronavirus action plan.

The coronavirus action plan was launched last week. This document sets out what we have done to tackle coronavirus (COVID-19), and what it plans to do next, depending upon the course the current coronavirus outbreak takes.

Advice from Public Health England continues to be for education and children’s social care settings to remain open, unless advised otherwise. We are continually reviewing how best to support all educational settings and the impact of any measures will be considered carefully before being implemented.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office travel advice

As of 10 March, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has updated advice about travel to Italy. The FCO is currently advising:

  • against all but essential travel to Italy
  • against all travel to Hubei Province, in China
  • against all but essential travel to the rest of mainland China
  • against all travel to the cities of Daegu, Cheongdo and Gyeongsan in South Korea

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is not currently advising against travel to any other country/territory as a result of COVID-19.

The latest travel advice can be found here:  https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus

Updated travel advice for travellers returning from Italy

Yesterday, Public Health England updated their travel advice, recommending that anyone returning from Italy should self-isolate, even if you do not have any symptoms. If you do develop symptoms, call NHS 111.

The latest travel guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public

Further information on what you should do if you are asked to self-isolate can be found here: https://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/2020/02/20/what-is-self-isolation-and-why-is-it-important/


Exam preparation and Ofqual advice

We recognise that students, parents, schools and colleges will be concerned about the possible impact of coronavirus on the 2020 summer exam series. Ofqual’s advice at this time is to continue to prepare for exams and other assessments as normal.

Ofqual continues to work closely with exam boards, other regulators and the Department for Education to plan for a range of scenarios, as the public would expect. Our overriding priorities are fairness to students this summer and keeping disruption to a minimum.

It is still many weeks until exams start and we will issue updated advice if necessary, giving schools and colleges as much notice as possible.

The latest updates from Ofqual can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/updated-statement-on-coronavirus


The importance of hygiene

Personal hygiene is the most important way we can tackle COVID-19, especially washing hands more; and the catch it, bin it, kill it strategy for those with coughs and sneezes.

Wash your hands more often for 20 seconds with soap and hot water.

In addition to handwashing before eating and after sneezing, both children and staff should also wash hands after using toilets and after travelling on public transport.

https://twitter.com/NHSuk/status/1235112744917049346

 

 

 


Government Coronavirus action plan

Yesterday, the Coronavirus action plan was launched. This document sets out what the UK as a whole has done to tackle the Coronavirus (COVID-19), and what it plans to do next.

The action plan can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-action-plan

The document includes:

  • what we know about the virus and the disease it causes
  • how we have planned for an infectious disease outbreak, such as the current coronavirus outbreak
  • the actions we have taken so far in response to the current coronavirus outbreak
  • what we are planning to do next, depending upon the course the current coronavirus outbreak takes
  •  the role the public can play in supporting this response, now and in the future

Current advice remains in place: No school should close in response to a suspected (or confirmed) COVID-19 case unless advised to do so by Public Health England.


The Department of Education have issued the following advice to schools. Given the advice, the school does not plan on taking any additional steps. This will be kept under review should the Government’s guidance change.

Advice for parents/guardians

You should not be unduly worried about the possibility of your children catching the Coronavirus. 

There is no reason why your children should not continue to attend their early years, school or further education setting as normal. 

We recognise that some families or children may be planning to travel to China during the forthcoming half term period. If so, please refer to the FCO’s latest travel advice via the link above.

Advice to those who have travelled recently

Public Health England has changed the advice for individuals who have travelled recently as follows:

Travellers from Wuhan and Hubei Province

If you have travelled from Wuhan or Hubei Province to the UK in the last 14 days you should immediately: 

  • stay indoors and avoid contact with other people as you would with the flu
  • call NHS 111 to inform them of your recent travel to the area

Please follow this advice even if you do not have symptoms of the virus.

Travellers from other parts of China and other specified areas

This advice applies to travellers who have returned to the UK from the following areas:

  • Elsewhere in China
  • Thailand
  • Japan
  • Republic of Korea
  • Hong Kong
  • Taiwan
  • Singapore
  • Malaysia
  • Macau 

If you have returned to the UK from any of these areas in the last 14 days and develop symptoms of cough or fever or shortness of breath, you should immediately:

  • stay indoors and avoid contact with other people as you would with the flu
  • call NHS 111 to inform them of your recent travel to the country

Encouraging good hygiene

As always, if you have symptoms of a cold or flu, then there are measures you can take to stop germs:

  • always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel.
  • wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using public transport. Use a sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • avoid close contact with people who are unwell.

Latest information

Updates on Coronavirus: 

https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Travel advice for those travelling and living overseas:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus

Public Health England blog: 

https://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/2020/01/23/wuhan-novelcoronavirus- what-you-need-to-know/  

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