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Home schooling and school shut down latest

Posted on: 03/04/2020

 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 - 03/04/2020

FSM Eligibitlity 03/04/2020

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

Student Letter - 30/03/2020

Parent Letter - 30/03/2020

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

Letter to Students - 19/03/2020Announcement from Gavin Williamson, Secretary of State for Education - 19/03/2020COVID-19 Update - 16/03/2020

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


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.


06/03/2020

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

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

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

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

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.


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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