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Latest Coronavirus Information

Below you will find a list of services that are there to support children, young people and their families during this time - websites, helplines and useful Apps :-
St Peter's Church has a special area on their website relating to Coronavirus, you can find it here.
 
 

 

 

 

This page is dedicated to keeping you updated on the government’s response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

 

Fri 3rd Apr 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:

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:

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:

Thurs 2nd Apr 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:

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:

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:

Wed 1st April 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:

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:

Tues 31st Mar 2020

 

National voucher scheme launched for schools providing free school meals

Children eligible for free school meals can benefit from a national voucher scheme whilst they stay at home. This delivers on the Government’s commitment to provide ongoing support for the 1.3 million children that would receive benefits-related free school meals at their school.

Schools can now provide every eligible child with a weekly shopping voucher worth £15 to spend at supermarkets while schools are closed due to coronavirus.

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.

Parents will receive the voucher through their child’s school, which can then be redeemed online via a code, or sent to their house as a gift card and used at supermarkets across the country.

Today, schools will receive an email from the Department for Education’s chosen supplier, Edenred, explaining how to access and administer the voucher scheme locally.

Full details of this scheme can be found here:

Mon 30th March 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:

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:

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:

Fri 27th March 2020

 

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:

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:

Thurs 26th March

 

HELP Required - Are you a confirmed positive COVID-19 case?

 

We are hoping to help with the research going into trying to develop an effective anti body test for Coronavirus.  So far we do not know of any confirmed cases but we need your help if you have heard of any. Please read the message below form the YorkTest laboratories: 

 

"We are looking for a confirmed positive test, preferably 15 days after infection started. What any donors need to know is that we will use our CE marked blood collection kits to send to them. In the comfort of their own home, they will lance their finger to collect 4-5 drops of blood into the provided tube and post back to us. We will use this sample to establish if our test can detect the Coronavirus.

All samples will be treated as anonymous and will be safely disposed of after use in our research and development of the COVID-19 test.

If you know of any confirmed positive persons, please contact katrina.seaton@yorktest.com or phone 01904 410 410.

We thank you for your time and hope you can help us find a way to fight this virus and save lives."

 

 

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:

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

School governance update

We have published an update about school governance which includes guidance in relation to coronavirus (COVID-19):

 

Resources for educational settings

We have updated our guidance for schools and other educational settings on how best to provide advice about coronavirus (COVID-19). A new poster resource is now available:

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:

Weds 25th Mar 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:

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

How to submit the daily online attendance return to DfE

Thank you to all the education settings that submitted their status and attendance information to the online form yesterday. For those settings that need more information on how to do this, we have developed a short tutorial video to guide you through the process:

The short tutorial video can be found at:

The online form can be found at:

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:

Handwashing advice

The most important thing individuals can do to protect themselves is to wash their hands more often, for at least 20 seconds, with soap and water. Public Health England recommends that in addition to handwashing before eating, and after coughing and sneezing, everyone should also wash hands after using toilets and travelling on public transport.

The latest guidance and video on hand washing can be found here:

Department for Education coronavirus helpline

The Department for Education coronavirus helpline is available to answer questions about COVID-19 relating to education and children’s social care. Staff, parents and young people can contact this helpline as follows:

Phone: 0800 046 8687
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday), 10am to 4pm (Saturday to Sunday)

Please note, we are currently experiencing high volumes of calls. We appreciate your patience at this time and apologise for any wait that you may experience. To ensure that we answer your calls as quickly as possible, we have now extended our opening hours to cover weekends and are increasing the number of call handlers available to answer your calls.

If you work in a school, please have your unique reference number (URN or UKPRN) available when calling the hotline.

Tues 24th June 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:

Guidance for early years and childcare providers

We have published new guidance for Ofsted-registered childcare providers about childcare provision following the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19):

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:

Guidance for apprentices, employers, training providers and assessment organisations

We have published new guidance which outlines the changes that we are making to the apprenticeship programme during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak:

Employer support in response to coronavirus (COVID-19)

The government has published a full range of support measures for UK employers and employees:

The information outlines how to access the support that has been made available, who is eligible, when the schemes open and how to apply.

Changes to attendance registers and daily online return to DfE

Thank you to all education settings that submitted their status and attendance information to the online form yesterday. For those settings that need more information on how to do this, we have developed a short tutorial video to guide you through the process:

The short tutorial video can be found at:

The online form can be found at:

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:

Handwashing advice

The most important thing individuals can do to protect themselves is to wash their hands more often, for at least 20 seconds, with soap and water. Public Health England recommends that in addition to handwashing before eating, and after coughing and sneezing, everyone should also wash hands after using toilets and travelling on public transport.

The latest guidance and video on hand washing can be found here:

Department for Education coronavirus helpline

The Department for Education coronavirus helpline is available to answer questions about COVID-19 relating to education and children’s social care. Staff, parents and young people can contact this helpline as follows:

Phone: 0800 046 8687
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday), 10am to 4pm (Saturday to Sunday)

Please note, we are currently experiencing high volumes of calls. We appreciate your patience at this time and apologise for any wait that you may experience. To ensure that we answer your calls as quickly as possible, we have now extended our opening hours to cover weekends and are increasing the number of call handlers available to answer your calls.

If you work in a school, please have your unique reference number (URN or UKPRN) available when calling the hotline.

Mon 23rd March 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:

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:

Guidance on isolation for residential educational settings

We have also published guidance about isolation for residential educational settings:

The guidance supports the management of children and young people in residential educational settings, including boarding schools, residential special schools and specialist colleges and children’s homes.

How to submit the daily online attendance return to DfE

We are asking most educational settings to temporarily change their attendance recording practices. These settings are asked to complete a short online form by 12:00 each weekday, notifying the Department for Education about their status regarding COVID-19.

A record of attendance spreadsheet, which will help you calculate the numbers we require for the online form, can be downloaded from the first link below. This spreadsheet itself does not need to be submitted.

The record of attendance spreadsheet, and a list of which educational settings need to complete the online form, is available at:

The online form, that most educational settings are asked to complete, can be found at:

Cyber security guidance to ensure your school’s IT teams and providers are prepared for an increase in home working

The National Cyber Security Centre has published new guidance which:

  • recommends cyber security steps to take if your organisation is introducing (or scaling up the amount of) home working
  • provides tips on how individuals can work more securely from home

You can access the guidance for IT staff at:

You can access the guidance for all education staff at:

Collection of guidance for educational settings on GOV.​UK

All of our coronavirus guidance for educational settings can now be found in one place on GOV.​UK:

Handwashing advice

The most important thing individuals can do to protect themselves is to wash their hands more often, for at least 20 seconds, with soap and water. Public Health England recommends that in addition to handwashing before eating, and after coughing and sneezing, everyone should also wash hands after using toilets and travelling on public transport.

The latest guidance and video on hand washing can be found here:

Department for Education coronavirus helpline

The Department for Education coronavirus helpline is available to answer questions about COVID-19 relating to education and children’s social care. Staff, parents and young people can contact this helpline as follows:

Phone: 0800 046 8687
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday), 10am to 4pm (Saturday to Sunday)

Please note, we are currently experiencing high volumes of calls. We appreciate your patience at this time and apologise for any wait that you may experience. To ensure that we answer your calls as quickly as possible, we have now extended our opening hours to cover weekends and are increasing the number of call handlers available to answer your calls.

If you work in a school, please have your unique reference number (URN or UKPRN) available when calling the hotline.

Sun 22nd Mar 2020

 

Changes to attendance recording and daily online return to DfE

From tomorrow, Monday 23 March, educational settings will need to temporarily change their attendance recording practices. To minimise the burden on settings and ensure that only the most important information is submitted, settings must:

  1. Stop taking your normal attendance registers

  2. Complete a new streamlined record of attendance for all children attending the educational setting using a simple spreadsheet. Instructions about how settings should record attendance are included on the first tab in the spreadsheet. The spreadsheet is available at:

  3. The spreadsheet will calculate the exact information needed to complete a short online form notifying the Department for Education about your status regarding COVID-19. The online form is available at:

This form is for:

  • Academies (including free schools and studio schools)
  • Local authority maintained schools
  • Local authority nursery schools
  • Independent schools
  • Non maintained special schools
  • Pupil referral units
  • University technical colleges
  • FE colleges and sixth form colleges

The online form will ask these settings to confirm if you are open and, if so, for information about numbers of pupils and staff attending that day, and provision of free school meals.

The form should take you less than 2 minutes to complete and be submitted by midday each weekday.

Your data will help us build a national picture of educational provision so that we can focus support more effectively, monitor the impact of the virus, and ensure children are safe.

If your school is closed and you’ve completed the form to say so, you need to resume completing the form daily when you reopen.

You will need a DfE Sign-in account to access the online form. If you don’t have a DfE Sign-in account, you will need to create one at:

Your DfE Sign-in “approver” will need to attach your account to your establishment before you can use the form.

If you are having problems using the DfE Sign-in service, you can request help at:

When submitting a request for help, please select the ‘Other’ category.

Collection of guidance for educational settings on GOV.​UK

All of our coronavirus guidance for educational settings can now be found in one place on GOV.​UK:

Handwashing advice

The most important thing individuals can do to protect themselves is to wash their hands more often, for at least 20 seconds, with soap and water. Public Health England recommends that in addition to handwashing before eating, and after coughing and sneezing, everyone should also wash hands after using toilets and travelling on public transport.

The latest guidance and video on hand washing can be found here:

Department for Education coronavirus helpline

The Department for Education coronavirus helpline is available to answer questions about COVID-19 relating to education and children’s social care. Staff, parents and young people can contact this helpline as follows:

Phone: 0800 046 8687
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday), 10am to 4pm (Saturday to Sunday)

Please note, we are currently experiencing high volumes of calls. We appreciate your patience at this time and apologise for any wait that you may experience. To ensure that we answer your calls as quickly as possible, we have now extended our opening hours to cover weekends and are increasing the number of call handlers available to answer your calls.

If you work in a school, please have your unique reference number (URN or UKPRN) available when calling the hotline.

SUNDAY 22  MARCH 2020

Further IMPORTANT information about emergency care for eligible pupils
 

On Friday 20 March, the Government released specific details relating to the eligibility for emergency care provision for pupils who are vulnerable, and who are the children of ‘key workers’.  Key points in relation to the Governments directive on emergency care provision for eligible pupils are very clear:

 

  • ‘If children can stay safely at home, they should, to limit the chance of the virus spreading.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Many parents who are ‘key workers’ may be able to ensure their child is kept at home. And every child who can be safely cared for at home should be.
  • 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.’

 

Therefore we require all parents to complete and bring this form and accompanying evidence to school on Monday 23rd March. If you have no printing facilities you can request a paper copy from the school at reception.

 

Please read the form carefully to check that you definitely meet the criteria and can supply the evidence. The form is below.

 

Anyone who has changed their mind about bringing their child needs to email admin@st-peters.wakefield.sch.uk. Thank you for your cooperation.

 

Emergency school provision declaration form

Sun 22nd Mar 2020

 

Childcare provision for children during school closure. 

St Peter’s and Clifton Primary School is committed to supporting the directive set out by the Government. All parents need to note the following:

 

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. The Government’s medical advice is very clear, social distancing is by far the best way to protect our children. The best way to protect your children is for them to be at home and isolated from other young people. The request from Government to provide emergency educational cover is for exceptional cases where parents are involved in frontline activity. If a parent is able to cover then this should be the norm. With this key message in mind we are open for vulnerable children, children with EHCPs and for Key Workers who do not have alternate childcare due to both adults being Key Workers or they are a Key Worker and a single parent family.

 

What is a key worker?

‘Key workers’ are defined as those whose work is critical to the COVID-19 response or those who work in one of the critical sectors listed below: 

  • Health and Social Care
  • Education and Child Care
  • Key Public Service
  • Local and National Government (linked to COVID-19)
  • Food Supplies
  • Public Safety and National Security
  • Transport
  • Utilities, Communication and Finance
  • Health Care
  • Journalist and Broadcasters
  • Religious Staff, Charities and Workers delivering frontline services
 
In terms of looking after children from the week beginning 23rd March, children will be looked after in 4 groups. This is to make sure the children are not in close proximity to each other and the staff team. Please note that the school will be operating with a much reduced team throughout this period due to a number of our usual school staff needing to engage in social distancing and the remaining team splitting into two. These teams will alternate weekly in caring for these priority pupils at the outset. The operational aspects of staffing will be reviewed every week in case of a reduced workforce due to Coronavirus infection, other sickness absence or staff needing to self isolate due to the infection of a family member who lives with them.

Please note that there is a possibility that the school may need to close its doors and withdraw this service if there are not enough staff to function safely. 

 

The groups will be:

1 Early years children including nursery and reception

2 Key Stage 1 children Years 1&2

3 Lower Key Stage 2 children Years 3&4

4 Upper Key Stage 2 children Years 5&6

 

We aim that each of these groups will be around 20 children and no more. That is why all parents who have contacted us requesting a place for their children, need to consider whether they really do require the provision or if they can actually find a safe way to care for them at home so numbers can reduce to our target level. 

 

As the requirement to teach the National Curriculum has been lifted in these unprecedented times, the children we will be caring for will be engaging in a mixture of educational and fun activities - many outdoors in the fresh air - weather permitting! 

 

The school kitchen will provide school dinners if parents order these by their usual means on Parentpay. Children who normally are entitled to a free school meal will get it. Children may also bring a healthy packed lunch. 

 

Children should bring in minimal items. A coat, pair of trainers for outdoor sports or walking and a named water bottle only.

 

Please do not send your child to school if they have a temperature, sore throat, cough, headache or breathing difficulties. Children with asthma or other underlying health conditions should not be sent to school if it is avoidable. Staff will be extra vigilant throughout this period and any child they suspect of illness will be sent home as soon as possible and held in a separate area with minimal contact (staff supervision at a distance) until they are collected by a parent.

 

 

We are putting these things in place to protect both pupils and workers and to sustain this service as long as possible.

Please be understanding and cooperative. 

 

While we are looking after your children  we would hope that all families will be limiting their social contact as much is is practically possible and not engaging in weekends away and social events to put everyone at risk. Such selfish behaviour cannot be condoned. Where it is clear that families are abusing this non statutory provision, their place may be withdrawn at short notice. 

 

Thank you all for giving this thoughtful consideration which will help everyone dealing with the pandemic.

Please update us if you have decided not to take up a place in childcare with us by emailing admin@st-peters.wakefield.sch.uk

 

Mrs A Halley and the School Leadership Team 

 

Fri 20th March 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:

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:

Please cascade the above information to parents and carers where possible.

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:

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.

Thurs 19th March 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 23 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:

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:

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.

Wed 18th March 2020

 

Gavin Williamson, Secretary of State for Education, has asked for this message to be passed to all those who work in the education sector

The government recognises the huge importance of the role you have played in maintaining the education, training and social care of our children and young people during this challenging time. I recognise that you will have the same anxieties as the rest of the country about your health and that of your families. On behalf of the Prime Minister and the entire government, I thank you all for all of your work so far, and your continued support. I am deeply grateful for the civic spirit and dedication of everyone working in education, and I will continue to provide my full support throughout this crisis.

Next steps

It is clear that education and children’s social care settings are increasingly finding it difficult to continue as normal, as illness and self-isolation impacts on staffing levels and pupil attendance. To provide parents, student and staff with the certainty they need we are announcing that schools, colleges and early years settings will be closed to everyone except children of key workers and vulnerable children from Monday, as part of the country’s ongoing response to coronavirus.

Examples of these workers include NHS staff, police and delivery drivers who need to be able to go to work. Vulnerable children include those who have a social worker and those with Education, Health and Care Plans.

A full list of key worker categories will be published by the Cabinet Office tomorrow.

Children who do not fall into these groups should remain at home with appropriate care.

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.

We are expecting early years providers and sixth form and further education colleges to do the same. We are working with Her Majesty’s Treasury on the financial support required. We are also asking that independent schools and boarding schools follow the same approach.

Where possible, we would encourage settings to stay open for this purpose throughout the Easter holidays.

Many universities and other higher education institutions are already taking necessary steps to keep their staff and students safe and where possible keep providing education. We are confident vice-chancellors are making the right decisions and the Department for Education continues to support them in doing so.

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.

Update on assessments and examinations

We can confirm that we will not go ahead with assessments or exams, and that we will not be publishing performance tables for this academic year.

We will work with the sector and Ofqual to ensure children get the qualifications they need.

My Department is working closely with local authorities, representatives of early years, schools and head teachers, regional school commissioners and bodies such as Ofsted and Ofqual about how to deliver this change as effectively as possible.

And we will do whatever is necessary to support local authorities, settings, schools and teachers through the weeks and months ahead.

Free school meal provision

We will give schools the flexibility to provide meals or vouchers to children eligible for free school meals. Some schools are already doing this, and we will reimburse the costs. As soon as possible, we will put in place a national voucher system. 

Thank you once again for everything you are doing at this difficult time.

The Rt Hon Gavin Williamson CBE MP

Secretary of State for Education

Tues 17th March 2020

 

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:

The Prime Minister’s statement from Monday 16 March can be found here:

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:

Updated guidance on recording school pupil absences

No school will be penalised for the impact on school attendance of coronavirus (COVID-19). Please record absences as follows:

  • Where a pupil cannot attend school due to illness, as would normally 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.
  • 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.
  • Where a pupil does not attend school and is not self-isolating, the pupil will be marked as absent. We back headteachers’ judgement and to be pragmatic – having spoken to parents – on whether to authorise such absence, taking into account individual circumstances. We expect, in particular, headteachers will authorise absence where a pupil is not able to attend because of an underlying health condition that means they, or a family member in their household, are particularly vulnerable to coronavirus (COVID-19).

Mon 16th March 2020

 

Please see the below letter regarding the cancellation of activities within school :-

Updated guidance for education settings on coronavirus (COVID-19)

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:

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.

Handwashing advice

The most important thing individuals can do to protect themselves is to wash their hands more often, for at least 20 seconds, with soap and water. Public Health England recommends that in addition to handwashing before eating, and after coughing and sneezing, everyone should also wash hands after using toilets and travelling on public transport.

Watch this short NHS film for guidance:

Department for Education coronavirus helpline

The Department for Education coronavirus helpline is available to answer questions about COVID-19 relating to education and children’s social care. Staff, parents and young people can contact this helpline as follows:

Phone: 0800 046 8687
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday), 10am to 4pm (Saturday to Sunday)

Please note, we are currently experiencing high volumes of calls. We appreciate your patience at this time and apologise for any wait that you may experience. To ensure that we answer your calls as quickly as possible we have now extended our opening hours to cover weekends.

If you work in a school, please have your unique reference number (URN or UK PRN) available when calling the hotline.

Where to find the latest information

Updates on COVID-19:

Guidance for educational settings:

Guidance for social or community care and residential settings:

Travel advice for those travelling and living overseas:

Educational resources:

Latest Department for Education information:

Fri 13th March 2020

 

Government announces move from Contain to Delay phase

Yesterday, the Government announced that we are moving from the Contain phase of the coronavirus action plan and into the Delay phase, in response to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Full details of each stage in the government action plan can be found here:

To support the delay of the spread of the virus, the Department for Health and Social Care has asked anyone who shows certain symptoms to stay at home for 7 days, regardless of whether they have travelled to affected areas. This means people should stay at home and avoid all but essential contact with others for 7 days from the point of displaying mild symptoms, to slow the spread of infection.

The symptoms are:

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

You do not need to call NHS 111 to stay at home. If your symptoms worsen during your stay at home period or are no better after 7 days contact NHS 111 online at 111.nhs.uk. If you have no internet access, you should call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999.

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 will be substantial, but the benefit to public health may not be. Decisions on future advice to schools will be taken based on the latest and best scientific evidence, which at this stage suggests children are a lower risk group.

COVID-19 travel guidance for the education sector

The Government has issued new travel guidance for the education sector. This advises against all overseas education trips for children under 18. This does not apply to domestic trips, or overseas trips which are already underway.

The full guidance can be found here:

Handwashing advice

The most important thing individuals can do to protect themselves is to wash their hands more often, for at least 20 seconds, with soap and water. Public Health England recommends that in addition to handwashing before eating, and after coughing and sneezing, everyone should also wash hands after using toilets and travelling on public transport.

Watch this short NHS film for guidance:

Educational resources

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:

Department for Education coronavirus helpline

The Department for Education coronavirus helpline is available to answer questions about COVID-19 relating to education and children’s social care. Staff, parents and young people can contact this helpline as follows:

Phone: 0800 046 8687
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday), 10am to 4pm (Saturday to Sunday)

Please note, we are currently experiencing high volumes of calls and apologise for any wait that you may experience. To ensure that we answer your calls as quickly as possible we have now extended our opening hours to cover weekends.

If you work in a school, please have your unique reference number (URN or UK PRN) available when calling the hotline.

Where to find the latest information

Updates on COVID-19:

Guidance for educational settings:

Guidance for social or community care and residential settings:

Travel advice for those travelling and living overseas:

Educational resources:

Latest Department for Education information:

Thurs 12th March 2020

 

COVID-19: guidance for educational settings

 

This guidance will assist schools and other educational settings in providing advice for pupils, students, staff and parents or carers regarding:

  • the novel coronavirus, COVID-19,
  • how to help prevent spread of all respiratory infections including COVID-19,
  • what to do if someone confirmed or suspected to have COVID-19 has been in a school or other educational setting, and
  • what advice to give to individuals who have travelled from specified countries or areas within the last 14 days, including school trips

With regards to travel information for specified countries/areas for pupils or students resident or boarding in the UK, we recommend following the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) country advice pages.

1. Information about the virus

A coronavirus is a type of virus. As a group, coronaviruses are common across the world. COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus first identified in Wuhan City, China in January 2020.

The incubation period of COVID-19 is between 2 and 14 days. This means that if a person remains well 14 days after contact with someone with confirmed coronavirus, it is unlikely that they have been infected.

The following symptoms may develop in the 14 days after exposure to someone who has COVID-19 infection:

  • cough
  • difficulty in breathing
  • fever

Generally, these infections can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long-term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease. There is no evidence that children are more affected than other age groups – very few cases have been reported in children.

2. How COVID-19 is spread

From what we know about other coronaviruses, spread of COVID-19 is most likely to happen when there is close contact (within 2 metres) with an infected person. It is likely that the risk increases the longer someone has close contact with an infected person.

Droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes (termed respiratory secretions) containing the virus are most likely to be the most important means of transmission.

There are 2 routes by which people could become infected:

  • secretions can be directly transferred into the mouths or noses of people who are nearby (within 2 metres) or could be inhaled into the lungs
  • it is also possible that someone may become infected by touching a surface or object that has been contaminated with respiratory secretions and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes (such as touching a door knob or shaking hands then touching own face).

There is currently no good evidence that people who do not have symptoms are infectious to others.

3. Preventing spread of infection

There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus.

There are general principles anyone can follow to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:

  • washing your hands often - with soap and water, or use alcohol sanitiser if handwashing facilities are not available. This is particularly important after taking public transport
  • covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throwing the tissue in a bin. See Catch it, Bin it, Kill it
  • people who feel unwell should stay at home and should not attend work or any education or childcare setting
  • pupils, students, staff and visitors should wash their hands:
    • before leaving home
    • on arrival at school
    • after using the toilet
    • after breaks and sporting activities
    • before food preparation
    • before eating any food, including snacks
    • before leaving school
  • use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser that contains at least 60% alcohol 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
  • clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
  • if you are worried about your symptoms or those of a child or colleague, please call NHS 111. Do not go directly to your GP or other healthcare environment
  • see further information on the Public Health England Blog and the NHS UK website.

PHE has a suite of materials that contains public health advice about how you can help stop the spread of viruses, like those that cause COVID-19, by practicing good respiratory and hand hygiene. To access, download and share this information you will need to register for an account which only takes a couple of minutes.

Face masks for the general public, pupils or students, or staff are not recommended to protect from infection, as there is no evidence of benefit from their use outside healthcare environments.

People who have returned from Category 1 specified countries/areas in the last 14 days should self-isolate. This includes avoiding attending an educational setting or work until 14 days after they return.

People who have returned from Category 2 specified countries/areas in the last 14 days, are advised to stay at home if they develop symptoms. All other pupils or students and staff should continue to attend school or university, including their siblings attending the same or a different school (unless advised not to by public health officials).

4. What to do if children, pupils, students or staff become unwell and believe they have been exposed to COVID-19 (either through travel to a specified country or area or contact with a confirmed case)

Call NHS 111, or 999 in an emergency (if they are seriously ill or injured or their life is at risk), and if appropriate, explain which country they have returned from in the last 14 days. You can do this on their behalf if this is easier. People who become unwell should be advised not to go to their GP, pharmacy, urgent care centre or a hospital.

Whilst you wait for advice from NHS 111 or an ambulance to arrive, try to find somewhere safe for the unwell person to sit which is at least 2 metres away from other people. If possible, find a room or area where they can be isolated behind a shut door, such as a staff office or meeting room. If it is possible to open a window, do so for ventilation. They should avoid touching people, surfaces and objects and be advised to cover their mouth and nose with a disposable tissue when they cough or sneeze and put the tissue in the bin. If no bin is available, put the tissue in a bag or pocket for disposing in a bin later. If you don’t have any tissues available, they should cough and sneeze into the crook of their elbow. The room will need to be cleaned once they leave.

If they need to go to the bathroom whilst waiting for medical assistance, they should use a separate bathroom if available.

Make sure that children and young people know to tell a member of staff if they feel unwell.

5. What to do if a case of COVID-19 (pupil, student or staff) is suspected in your childcare or educational setting

If anyone has been in contact with a suspected case in a childcare or educational setting, no restrictions or special control measures are required while laboratory test results for COVID-19 are awaited. There is no need to close the setting or send other learners or staff home. As a precautionary measure, the NHS are currently testing a very large number of people who have travelled back from affected countries, the vast majority of whom test negative. Therefore, until the outcome of test results is known there is no action that staff members need to take apart from cleaning specific areas (section 13) and disposing of waste (section 14).

Once the results arrive, those who test negative for COVID-19 will be advised individually about returning to education.

6. What to do if a case of COVID-19 (pupil, student or staff) is confirmed in your childcare or educational setting

The childcare or educational setting will be contacted by the local Public Health England Health Protection Team to discuss the case, identify people who have been in contact with them and advise on any actions or precautions that should be taken. An assessment of each childcare or educational setting will be undertaken by the Health Protection Team with relevant staff. Advice on the management of pupils or students and staff will be based on this assessment.

The Health Protection Team will also be in contact with the patient directly to advise on isolation and identifying other contacts, and will be in touch with any contacts of the patient to provide them with appropriate advice. Advice on cleaning of communal areas such as classrooms, changing rooms and toilets will be given by the Health Protection Team and is outlined later in this document.

If there is a confirmed case, a risk assessment will be undertaken by the educational establishment with advice from the local Health Protection Team. In most cases, closure of the childcare or educational setting will be unnecessary but this will be a local decision based on various factors such as establishment size and pupil mixing.

7. What to do if pupils, students or staff in your institution are contacts of a confirmed case of COVID-19 who was symptomatic while attending your childcare or educational setting

The definition of a contact includes:

  • any pupil, student or staff member in close face-to-face or touching contact including those undertaking small group work (within 2 metres of the case for more than 15 minutes)
  • talking with or being coughed on for any length of time while the individual is symptomatic
  • anyone who has cleaned up any bodily fluids of the individual
  • close friendship groups
  • any pupil, student or staff member living in the same household as a confirmed case, or equivalent setting such as boarding school dormitory or other student accommodation

Contacts are not considered cases and if they are well, they are very unlikely to have spread the infection to others, however:

  • they will be asked to self-isolate at home, or within their boarding school dormitory room, for 14 days from the last time they had contact with the confirmed case and follow the home isolation advice sheet
  • they will be actively followed up by the Health Protection Team
  • if they develop any symptoms within their 14-day observation period they should call NHS 111 for assessment
  • if they become unwell with cough, fever or shortness of breath they will be tested for COVID-19
  • if they require emergency medical attention, call 999 and tell the call handler or ambulance control that the person has a history of potential contact with COVID-19
  • if they are unwell at any time within their 14-day observation period and they test positive for COVID-19 they will become a confirmed case and will be treated for the infection

Family and friends who have not had close contact (as listed above) with the original confirmed case do not need to take any precautions or make any changes to their own activities such as attending childcare or educational settings or work, unless they become unwell. If they become unwell, they should call NHS 111 and explain their symptoms and discuss any known contact with the case to consider if they need further assessment.

If a confirmed case occurs in an educational setting the local Health Protection Team will provide you with advice and will work with the headteacher, principal and or management team of that setting. Outside those that are defined as close contacts, the rest of the school does not need to take any precautions or make any changes to their own activities attending educational establishments or work as usual, unless they become unwell. If they become unwell they will be assessed as a suspected case depending on their symptoms. This advice applies to teaching staff and children in the rest of the class who are not in a close friendship group or children undertaking small group work. The decision as to whether pupils, students and staff fall into this contact group or the closer contact group will be made between the Health Protection Team, the educational setting and (if they are old enough) the student. Advice should be given as follows:

  • if they become unwell with cough, fever or shortness of breath they will be asked to self-isolate and should seek medical advice from NHS 111
  • if they are unwell at any time within the 14 days of contact and they are tested and are positive for COVID-19 they will become a confirmed case and will be treated as such.

8. What to do if pupils, students or staff in your childcare or educational setting have travelled from any Category 1 specified country/area in the past 14 days

If an individual falls into this category, contact NHS 111 for further advice:

  • if they are currently well, they should self-isolate for 14 days and you should follow the advice as above for contacts of confirmed cases in the educational setting

  • if they become unwell please call NHS 111 immediately for them to be assessed by an appropriate specialist. You should follow the advice as above for contacts of confirmed cases in the educational establishment. If they require emergency medical attention, call 999 and tell the call handler or ambulance control that the person has a history of recent travel to risk areas for COVID-19

9. What to do if a pupil, student or staff member has travelled from a Category 2 specified country/area in the last 14 days

If they are currently well:

  • they are advised to self-isolate only if they develop symptoms
  • they can continue to attend work or education
  • they do not need to avoid contact with other people
  • their family do not need to take any precautions or make any changes to their own activities
  • testing people with no symptoms for COVID-19 is currently not recommended
  • it is useful to always take a mobile phone with them when they go out so that they can contact others if they do become unwell

If they become unwell:

  • they should stay indoors and avoid contact with other people as they would with other flu viruses (see this home isolation advice sheet).
  • they (or a family member, colleague or member of staff) should call NHS 111 immediately for them to be assessed by an appropriate specialist, as quickly as possible
  • they should stay at home and should not attend work or education
  • they should not go directly to their GP or other healthcare environment
  • if they require emergency medical attention, call 999 and tell the call handler or ambulance control that the person has a history of recent travel to risk areas for COVID-19
  • see further information and the Public Health England Blog

10. What to do if pupils, students or staff return from travel anywhere else in the world within the last 14 days

Currently there are minimal cases outside the risk areas and therefore the likelihood of an individual coming into contact with a confirmed case is low.

There is no need to advise any of these pupils, student or staff to avoid normal activities or educational settings unless they have had contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19.

If individuals are aware that they have had close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 they should contact NHS 111 for further advice.

For the latest country specific information please visit NaTHNac Travel Pro.

11. What to do with post, packages or food sent from specified countries/areas within the last 14 days

There is no need to change how you handle post, packages or food received from the affected regions. The virus does not survive well for long periods outside the body and so it is highly unlikely that COVID-19 can be spread through post or packages. It is highly unlikely that COVID-19 can be spread through food.

12. How to clean educational establishments where there were children, students or staff with suspected cases of COVID-19

Coronavirus symptoms are similar to a flu-like illness and include cough, fever, or shortness of breath. Once symptomatic, all surfaces that the suspected case has come into contact with must be cleaned using disposable cloths and household detergents, according to current recommended workplace legislation and practice.

These include:

  • all surfaces and objects which are visibly contaminated with body fluids
  • all potentially contaminated high-contact areas such as toilets, door handles, telephones

Public areas where a symptomatic individual has passed through and spent minimal time in (such as corridors) but which are not visibly contaminated with body fluids do not need to be specially cleaned and disinfected. If a person becomes ill in a shared space, these should be cleaned as detailed above.

13. What to do with rubbish in the educational establishment, including tissues, if children, students or staff become unwell with suspected COVID-19

All waste that has been in contact with the individual, including used tissues, and masks if used, should be put in a plastic rubbish bag and tied when full. The plastic bag should then be placed in a second bin bag and tied. It should be put in a safe place and marked for storage until the result is available. If the individual tests negative, this can be put in the normal waste.

Should the individual test positive, you will be instructed what to do with the waste.

14. Tools for use in childcare and educational settings

Use e-Bug resources recommended by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence to teach pupils about hygiene. Key sections that may be useful are:

14.1 KS1: Horrid Hands and Super Sneezes

Horrid hands

Super sneezes

14.2 KS2: Hand Hygiene and Respiratory Hygiene

Hand hygiene

Respiratory hygiene

14.3 KS3: Hand Hygiene and Respiratory Hygiene

Hand hygiene

Respiratory hygiene

Education Scotland produces resources for the use of schools in Scotland.

Thurs 12th March 2020

 

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:

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.

How to wash your hands properly

Wash your hands more often for 20 seconds with soap and hot water.
Watch this short NHS film for guidance:

Teach young children how to wash their hands with the NHS handwashing song:

Public Health England recommends that in addition to handwashing before eating, and after coughing and sneezing, everyone should also wash hands after using toilets and travelling on public transport.

Department for Education coronavirus helpline

The Department for Education coronavirus helpline is available to answer questions about COVID-19 relating to education and children’s social care. Staff, parents and young people can contact this helpline as follows:

Phone: 0800 046 8687
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)

Please note, we are currently experiencing high volumes of calls and apologise for any wait that you may experience. Your call will join a queue and we will answer as soon as possible.

If you work in a school, please have your unique reference number (URN or UKPRN) available when calling the helpline.

Where to find the latest information

Updates on COVID-19:

Guidance for educational settings:

Guidance for social or community care and residential settings:

Travel advice for those travelling and living overseas:

Educational resources:

Latest Department for Education information:

Wed 11th March 2020

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:

Updated advice for travellers returning from Italy

On 10 March, Public Health England updated its travel advice for travellers returning from Italy. The advice can be found here:

Further information on what you should do if you are asked to self-isolate can be found here:

Tues 10th March 2020

Government coronavirus action plan

Yesterday, 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.

The action plan can be found here:

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.

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:

Further information on what you should do if you are asked to self-isolate can be found here:

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 coughing and sneezing, both children and staff should also wash hands after using toilets and travelling on public transport. 

Public Health England has a dedicated webpage with a range of posters and digital materials at: 

Sign up is quick, free and means you will be alerted as more resources are made available. 

Mon 9th March 2020

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:

Fri 6th March 2020

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.

Please help us in sharing simple and effective hand hygiene messages:

Thurs 5th March 2020

Government Coronavirus action plan

On Tuesday, 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:

Action plan overview

The action plan sets out a four phased approach in response to the Coronavirus – Contain, Delay, Mitigate, and Research. An approach designed by world leading experts.

As there are already cases in the UK, the current emphasis is on the Contain and Research phases, but planning for Delay and Mitigation is already in train.

As part of the Contain phase, we have been providing advice about educational settings in England, which can be found on Public Health England’s website. We also launched a DfE helpline to manage the flow of increasing queries, from providers parents and young people.

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 – also help in delaying the peak of the infection.

The action plan is a framework that outlines the types of options open to government in each of these four phases. But this document is only a list of the types of measures we could consider – not those we are planning to implement.

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 importance of hygiene

Yesterday, the Department of Health and Social Care launched a public information campaign that focuses on the importance of handwashing. Washing hands for 20 seconds is central to prevent and slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/public-information-campaign-focuses-on-handwashing

Mon 2nd March 2020

Department for Education Coronavirus helpline

Today, we 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.

 

The importance of hygiene

Personal hygiene is the most important way we can tackle COVID-19. Please help us in sharing simple and effective hand hygiene messages.

Public Health England has a dedicated webpage with a range of posters and digital materials at:

https://campaignresources.phe.gov.uk/resources/campaigns/101-coronavirus-/resources

Sign up is quick, free and means you will be alerted as more resources are made available.

 

Where to find the latest information

Updates on COVID-19:
https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

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

Travel advice for those travelling and living overseas:
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus

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