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The Palmer Catholic Academy

Coronavirus - Updated advice for parents/carers

Coronavirus - Updated advice for parents/carers

 
 
 
 
 
 Department for Education
 
 

 

 

 

Updated guidance for parents and carers

We have updated our guidance for parents and carers on what they need to know about early years providers, schools and colleges during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. This update provides information on school admission appeals, entry tests for selective schools, and exams and assessments in the autumn term.

We have also provided further information on the use of face coverings in schools and links to online resources that are available to help parents, carers and children with their mental health and wellbeing.

 

Updated guidance on the use of face coverings in education

On 21 August, the World Health Organisation (WHO) updated their advice on when children over the age of 12 should wear face coverings. The WHO now advise that “children aged 12 and over should wear a mask under the same conditions as adults, in particular when they cannot guarantee at least a 1-metre distance from others and there is widespread transmission in the area”.

As a result, the government has revised the guidance on face coverings for staff and children in Year 7 or above in England. From 1 September new advice will apply to the use of face coverings by staff and pupils in school years 7 or above and learners in further education in England.

In areas of local intervention, face coverings should be worn by adults and pupils in secondary schools and colleges when moving around, such as in corridors and communal areas where social distancing is difficult to maintain.

Nationwide, schools and colleges will have the discretion to require face coverings in communal areas where social distancing cannot be safely managed, if they believe that is right in their particular circumstances.

 

Summary guidance on appeals for GCSE, AS and A level grade in summer 2020

Ofqual has published guidance on appeals, malpractice and maladministration complaints for students who received their GCSE, AS and A level grades in England in summer 2020, summarising the information they have previously published and including contact details for additional help and support.

Exam Results Helpline available until 28 August

The Exam Results Helpline, delivered by the National Careers Service, will be available until 28 August to provide additional support to students and their parents as they receive their results. Callers to the helpline will have direct access to experienced careers advisers who can advise on the different options available to them including T levels, A levels, GCSEs, BTECs, apprenticeships and other vocational options. Support will also be available on topics such as clearing, university, gap years and the autumn exam series.

Phone: 0800 100 900

Opening hours: Monday to Sunday from 8am to 10pm

Department for Education coronavirus (COVID-19) helpline

The Department for Education coronavirus (COVID-19) 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 by calling:

Phone: 0800 046 8687

Opening hours:

Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm.
Monday 31 August (Bank Holiday) from 10am to 4pm.

 

A and AS level and GCSE students to receive centre assessment grades

It has been announced that A and AS level students will be reissued their centre assessment grades. GCSE students will also receive their centre assessment grades on Thursday. Anyone who received a calculated grade higher than their centre assessment grade will not see their grade reduced.

The Secretary of State for Education said:

‘This has been an extraordinarily difficult year for young people who were unable to take their exams. We worked with Ofqual to construct the fairest possible model, but it is clear that the process of allocating grades has resulted in more significant inconsistencies than can be resolved through an appeals process.’

‘We now believe it is better to offer young people and parents certainty by moving to teacher assessed grades for both A and AS level and GCSE results. I am sorry for the distress this has caused young people and their parents but hope this announcement will now provide the certainty and reassurance they deserve.’

Further information can be found in the students to receive centre assessment grades announcement.

Launch of the #backtoschoolsafely campaign

We have launched our #backtoschoolsafely campaign to reassure parents and students that schools and colleges are ready for their return in September.

This is part of the Government’s wider Stay Alert campaign. You will see newspaper and billboard advertising from today, with radio and digital adverts from Monday 24 August, which will run until early September, alongside wider engagement with the teaching profession and local communities.

The latest statistics from the Office for National Statistics show there is growing confidence among parents that their children will return to school in September, testament to the hard work of school staff.

Parents are encouraged to visit gov.uk/backtoschool for information and practical guidance to help them plan for their children’s return to school.

 

Barnardo’s ‘See Hear Respond’ service

See Hear Respond is a service provided across England by Barnardo’s and other national and local community-based organisations in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

The programme has been created to help children and young people in England who are experiencing harm and increased adversity during this period by providing support to those who are not being seen by social care or other key agencies.

Working with its partners, Barnardo’s aims to reduce the likelihood of harm and ensure other support and protective networks are in place.

See Hear Respond accept referrals from any source either through the Freephone number 0800 151 7015 or via the online referral hub.

 

Department for Education coronavirus (COVID-19) helpline – change to opening hours

The Department for Education coronavirus (COVID-19) 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 by calling 0800 046 8687.

From Monday 27 July, the helpline will be closed on weekends. We will continue to be available to answer your calls Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm.

School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme

Today, the Government has confirmed that the school fruit and vegetable scheme, which was paused during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, will resume as normal in autumn when all children return to school. This scheme provides daily fresh produce for pupils in key stage 1 and helps every child have a healthy, happy start to life.

10 top tips to encourage children to read in support of Reading Together Day

To support the very first Reading Together Day, we have published tips for parents and carers of primary-aged children to help them encourage and support their children to read. They contain ideas on how to plan reading opportunities at home and make reading enjoyable and engaging, including during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Barnardo’s ‘See Hear Respond’ service

See Hear Respond is a service provided across England by Barnardo’s and other national and local community-based organisations in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

The programme has been created to help children and young people in England who are experiencing harm and increased adversity during this period by providing support to those who are not being seen by social care or other key agencies.

Working with its partners, Barnardo’s aims to reduce the likelihood of harm and ensure other support and protective networks are in place.

See Hear Respond accept referrals from any source either through the Freephone number 0800 151 7015 and via the online referral hub.

 

Additional funding for free meals in further education

Due to the unprecedented nature of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, we are providing additional funding to enable further education funded institutions to continue to provide meals over the 2020 summer holiday to students eligible for free meals in further education in the 2019/20 academic year.

Institutions should continue to provide meals using their existing arrangements over the summer for students who were eligible and claiming for free meals in further education during the summer term. Institutions need to confirm arrangements and support with eligible students before the end of the summer term.

Further information on this funding can be found in the guidance on free meals in further education funded institutions in 2019/20.

Guidance on taking exams during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

We have updated the guidance on taking exams during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak to include more information on the GCSE, AS and A level autumn exam series and a new section on the arrangements and timing of summer 2021 exams.

 

Guidance on the protective measures for holiday or after-school clubs and other out-of-school settings for children during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

We have updated the protective measures for holiday or after-school clubs and other out-of-school settings guidance with more information on group sizes and the considerations that need to be made, and the opening of indoor sports facilities from 25 July, including indoor gyms, sports courts and fitness and dance studios.

If your school or college operates outdoors, you should also refer to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s guidance for the public on the phased return of outdoor sport and recreation in England.

Free school meals over the summer period for pupils leaving their current education setting

The Covid Summer Food Fund will enable children who are eligible for benefits-related free school meals to be supported over the summer holiday period. This includes providing support where needed for year 6, year 11 and year 13 pupils who were confirmed as eligible and claiming benefits-related free school meals during the summer term, regardless of whether they remain registered with the school.

Where applicable, the school that the pupil is leaving is responsible for ordering the pupil’s free school meals for the Covid Summer Food Fund at least one week before the end of the school term.

Please read all emails from Edenred to ensure that your orders have been processed correctly.

 

Recording of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s address to school leavers

Today, 43,000 people joined the Prime Minister’s live address to all school leavers congratulating them on reaching the end of their final year at school. A recording of the address is now available to view on Facebook and YouTube.

 

Investment in traineeships and apprenticeships for young people announced

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced that businesses will receive a cash payment for every apprentice they hire, with a payment of £2,000 per apprentice under the age of 25, and a payment of £1,500 for apprentices aged 25 and over. These payments are in addition to, where appropriate, the existing £1,000 payment made to employers who employ a 16 to 18 year old apprentice or an apprentice aged under 24 with an Education, Health and Care Plan.

Businesses offering new traineeships in England will also receive a £1,000 bonus per new trainee, with triple the number of places available.

Over £100 million is also to be invested in providing more places on level 2 and 3 courses to help 18 to 19 year olds leaving school or college to find work.

 

Barnardo’s ‘See Hear Respond’ service

See Hear Respond is a service provided across England by Barnardo’s and other national and local community-based organisations in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

The programme has been created to help children and young people in England who are experiencing harm and increased adversity during this period by providing support to those who are not being seen by social care or other key agencies.

Working with its partners, Barnardo’s aims to reduce the likelihood of harm and ensure other support and protective networks are in place using:

  • online digital support, including advice and information, online counselling and a telephone helpline

  • face to face interventions, such as support for groups at risk outside the home and one to one support

  • reintegration into education, including assessments and the delivery of support pathways back to education

See Hear Respond accept referrals from any source either through the Freephone number 0800 151 7015 and via the online referral hub.

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing eligibility and how to book

Testing is available to anyone in England and Wales who has symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), whatever their age. Tests are free and can be requested through the NHS website.

Priority testing is available for essential workers and anyone they live with who display symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), this includes all education and childcare staff. Priority testing can be arranged through the self-referral portal on GOV.​UK. Apply for a coronavirus test if you’re an essential worker.

 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson to address all school leavers

On Friday 10 July at 10am, the Prime Minister will be giving an address to all school leavers which will be broadcast on Facebook and YouTube.

Please encourage your final year students to tune in!

A recording of the address will be available to view on both platforms.

 

Plans for all children and young people to return to full-time education at the start of the autumn term

The Secretary of State for Education, Gavin Williamson, announced our plans for all children and young people to return to full-time education at the start of the autumn term in Parliament today.

We have published the supporting guidance that provides schools, colleges and nurseries with the details to plan for a full return. The guidance has been developed in close consultation with sector stakeholders and medical experts from Public Health England.

Nurseries and other early years providers, including childminders, have already been welcoming back children of all ages since 1 June, with a range of protective measures in place. From 20 July, restrictions on group sizes for nurseries, childminders and other early years providers will be lifted, increasing capacity for more children to return, as set out in the updated guidance.

The schools guidance sets out a range of measures to protect children and staff. This guidance applies to all mainstream schools, alternative provision, independent schools and boarding schools and sets out advice on how you can minimise contact and mixing. Separate guidance has also been published for special schools.

We have also published guidance for parents and carers on the plans for the autumn term to help reassure them about what to expect for their children.

The guidance for the full opening of schools from the start of the autumn term can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak

The updated guidance on actions for early years and childcare providers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak can be found here:

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

The new guidance for the full opening of special schools and other specialist settings from the start of the autumn term can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-for-full-opening-special-schools-and-other-specialist-settings

The new guidance on what further education colleges and providers will need to do from the start of the 2020 autumn term can be found here:

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

The guidance for what parents and carers need to know about early years providers, schools and colleges in the autumn term can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/what-parents-and-carers-need-to-know-about-early-years-providers-schools-and-colleges-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak

The updated guidance on re-opening buildings and campuses for higher education (HE) can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-he-providers-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak

 

Protective measures for holiday or after-school clubs and other out-of-school settings for children during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

We have published guidance for providers that run community activities, holiday clubs, after-school clubs, tuition and other out-of-school provision for children. We are aware many providers are already considering what protective measures to put in place to allow them to reopen more widely and as safely as possible during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

This new guidance will support their planning and advises on practical steps they can take to minimise the risk to children, staff and parents who attend. Providers who open should implement this new guidance from the end of summer term, when state schools in their local area have closed. Until then, while schools are open in a provider’s local area, they should follow the same protective measures as schools to limit different groups of children mixing.

We have also published guidance for parents and carers setting out what they need to know about changes to after-school clubs, holiday clubs, tuition, community activities and other out-of-school settings for children and young people during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. We have included information on what clubs and activities children and young people can attend, and what new safety measures parents and carers can expect them to have in place.

The guidance for providers can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/protective-measures-for-holiday-or-after-school-clubs-and-other-out-of-school-settings-for-children-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak

The guidance for parents and carers can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-for-parents-and-carers-of-children-attending-out-of-school-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak

Updated guidance on what parents and carers need to know about early years providers, schools and colleges during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

We have updated the guidance on what parents and carers need to know about early years providers, schools and colleges during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. We have added content on summer provision, school uniform and a package of support worth £1 billion to support pupils to catch up. We have updated content on school meals and the Covid Summer Food Fund.

The guidance can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/what-parents-and-carers-need-to-know-about-early-years-providers-schools-and-colleges-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak

Communicating with parents

We know schools are doing all they can to reassure parents of the safety measures which are in place to welcome eligible children back to school and college this term.

To support schools with this, as part of the Government’s central “Stay Alert” campaign, you are likely to see information adverts on these measures on the radio and online to reassure parents that if their child is eligible to attend school, they should return before the summer break. These messages will sit alongside wider government messaging about public transport and returning to work, which aim to reassure the public as changes to lockdown measures are made.

The leaflets and films below are for parents of children in primary and secondary. You may want to share these with your parent network to support your engagement with children and families who have questions.

The leaflets can be found here:

https://coronavirusresources.phe.gov.uk/schools-/resources/leaflets/

The film for primary school pupils can be found here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BiefaCf2fvY

The film for secondary school pupils can be found here:

https://youtu.be/foQuuIWonl8

Iceland and the Company Group vouchers now available through the free school meal national voucher scheme

Through the free school meal (FSM) national voucher scheme, you can now select eGift cards for Iceland and the Company Group alongside:

  • Aldi
  • Asda
  • M&S
  • McColl’s
  • Morrisons
  • Sainsbury’s
  • Tesco
  • Waitrose

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

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

These eGift cards will also be available through the Covid Summer Food Fund, which will enable children who are eligible for benefits-related FSM to be supported over the summer holiday period. All vouchers for the summer holidays must be ordered at least one week before your school’s summer term ends.

Please read the short guidance document in full before ordering, to ensure your orders are processed correctly. The payments for the fund will be met centrally by the Department for Education.

The COVID Summer Food Fund guidance can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/covid-summer-food-fund

We have also updated the application form and guidance on the temporary extension of free school meals to no recourse to public funds (NRPF) groups. This is to reflect the change in annual household income threshold to £16,190 after tax.

The sample application form and guidance can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance/guidance-for-the-temporary-extension-of-free-school-meals-eligibility-to-nrpf-groups

Updated guidance for children’s social care services

We have updated the guidance for children’s social care services to clarify that all primary and most secondary legislation remains unchanged and that we have made temporary and time-limited amendments to secondary legislation. We have also added content on missing children, testing, technology initiatives and social care services for disabled children and young people and their families. We have also revised the sections on court, fostering and adoption to provide further information.

The guidance can be found here:

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

 

Updated guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable from coronavirus (COVID-19)

On 22 June, the Government set out a series of steps for further relaxing shielding guidance which will come into effect on 6 July and 1 August, taking into account that coronavirus (COVID-19) infection rates have decreased significantly over the last few weeks.

From 1 August, the Government will be advising that shielding will be paused. From this date, those people previously shielding are advised to adopt strict social distancing rather than full shielding measures. Children who are clinically extremely vulnerable can return to their education settings if they are eligible and in line with their peers.

Where possible children should practice frequent hand washing and social distancing. The Public Health England guidance for people who are shielding has been updated to reflect the changes.

The full guidance can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19

Thousands of children to benefit from free meals and activities during summer 2020

The Government’s Holiday Activities and Food programme will support up to 50,000 disadvantaged children across 17 local authority areas and help them to stay healthy and active this summer. Ten providers were successful in their bid for the programme, and each organisation will deliver at least four weeks of free activities and healthy food during July and August 2020.

The full news story can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/thousands-of-children-to-benefit-from-free-meals-and-activities

 

The Duchess of Cambridge to lead an online assembly on mental wellbeing among children

Tomorrow, the Duchess of Cambridge will lead an online assembly for the Oak National Academy during which she will speak about the importance of mental wellbeing among children. The theme of the Duchess’ assembly is ‘spread a little kindness’ and is based on a lesson plan which is available on the Mentally Healthy Schools platform. This platform was developed in collaboration with children’s mental health charity Place2Be and encourages children to explore ways in which they can show kindness and recognise the benefits of kindness to others.

The Mentally Healthy Schools platform can be accessed here:

https://www.mentallyhealthyschools.org.uk/

The assembly will be live on the Oak National Academy website at 11am on Thursday 18 June and can be accessed here:

https://classroom.thenational.academy/assemblies/

A recording of the assembly will be available to view on the Oak National Academy website following the event.

 

Updated handwashing advice

It is essential that everyone washes their hands more often, using soap and water for at least 20 seconds. 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.

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

https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/best-way-to-wash-your-hands/

The e-Bug project is led by Public Health England and has a dedicated webpage for learning resources on hand washing and respiratory hygiene. E-Bug has published posters on hand hygiene, and covering coughs and sneezes, to display in bathrooms, classrooms and shared spaces.

The hand and respiratory hygiene posters and other educational resources can be found here:

https://e-bug.eu

 

Safer travel guidance for passengers

From today it is the law that you must wear a face covering when travelling in England on public transport including a bus, coach, tram or train. Where travel with children is necessary, such as to an education setting, consider whether children could walk or cycle, accompanied by a responsible adult or carer, where appropriate. The law requiring passengers to wear face coverings does not apply to children under the age of 11. Face coverings should not be used by children under the age of 3, for safety.

Children, even if they are over 11, are not required to wear face coverings on school transport. School transport is that provided by local authorities, academy trusts or schools for the specific purpose of transporting children to and from their home and school.

The Department for Transport’s guidance can be found here:

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

 

Updated guidance on summer 2020 grades for GCSE, AS and A level

Ofqual has updated their guidance for teachers, students, parents and carers on summer 2020 grades for GCSE, AS and A level, Extended Project Qualification and Advanced Extension Award in mathematics.

The guidance can be found here:

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

 

Extra mental health support for pupils and teachers

Yesterday the government announced that new online resources designed by health and education experts will be provided to schools and colleges to boost mental health support for staff and pupils, encouraging them to talk more confidently about the anxieties and concerns they feel as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The full press release can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/extra-mental-health-support-for-pupils-and-teachers

 

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

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

The guidance can be found here:

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

Updated guidance on providing apprenticeships during the coronavirus outbreak

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

The guidance can be found here:

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

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

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

The guidance can be found here:

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

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

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

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

Further information can be found here:

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

 

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

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

The guidance can be found here:

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

 

Space related educational resources for home schooling

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

The resources are available here:

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

 

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

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

Full details of this announcement can be found here:

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

 

Updated guidance on providing free school meals during the coronavirus outbreak

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

The guidance can be found here:

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

 

Testing now available to anyone with symptoms of coronavirus

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

A coronavirus test can be booked here:

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

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

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

 

Launch of the NHS Test and Trace service

The new NHS Test and Trace service has launched today and will form a central part of the government’s coronavirus recovery strategy.

Anyone who tests positive for coronavirus will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace and will need to share information about their recent interactions.

People identified as having been in close contact with someone who has a positive test must stay at home for 14 days, even if they do not have symptoms, to stop unknowingly spreading the virus.

Further information on the NHS Test and Trace service can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-launches-nhs-test-and-trace-service

Guidance on the NHS Test and Trace service for employers, businesses and workers can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/nhs-test-and-trace-workplace-guidance

Guidance on how the NHS Test and Trace works can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/nhs-test-and-trace-how-it-works

Public Health England has published guidance that explains what you should do if the NHS Test and Trace service notifies you that you are a contact of a person who has tested positive for coronavirus and you do not live with that person.

The guidance can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-for-contacts-of-people-with-possible-or-confirmed-coronavirus-covid-19-infection-who-do-not-live-with-the-person

Updated guidance on isolation for residential educational settings

We have updated the guidance on isolation for residential educational settings to include updated information on the symptoms of coronavirus and the definition of a ‘household’ in a residential setting.

The guidance can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-isolation-for-residential-educational-settings

Department for Transport travelling advice for parents and pupils

The Department for Transport has issued advice on how parents and pupils can travel to school safely as part of the #TravelSafely campaign. Resources have been developed to ensure that parents, pupils and staff have the information they need to stay safe on the public transport network. This includes information developed in collaboration with respected partners on how to cycle and walk safely, where possible.

Resources can be found here:

https://extranet.dft.gov.uk/safer-transport-campaign/schools/

 

Schools and nurseries on track to open to more children from 1 June

The Prime Minister has confirmed that schools and nurseries across England remain on track to open to more children from 1 June, subject to the Government’s five tests being met. Primary schools will welcome back children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6, while nurseries and other early years providers will begin welcoming back children of all ages.

Full details of this announcement can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/pm-confirms-schools-colleges-and-nurseries-on-track-to-begin-phased-reopening

Guidance for secondary school provision from 15 June

The government has announced that secondary schools should offer face-to-face support for a quarter of Year 10 and 12 pupils at any one time from 15 June. This is in addition to the current provision for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers in all year groups.

We have published guidance for secondary schools that sets out considerations for preparing to open to more children and putting in place protective measures to limit the transmission of coronavirus. This guide is designed for mainstream and alternative provision secondary schools (including those with a school sixth form).

The guidance can be found here:

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

A planning guide for early years and childcare settings

We have published a planning guide for early years and childcare settings to help them open more widely from the week commencing 1 June, at the earliest. The guide sets out considerations for preparing to open to more children and putting in place protective measures to limit the transmission of coronavirus. It has been developed in consultation with early years sector bodies and providers from a variety of different settings. Every setting is different and it is not a requirement to use all parts of this toolkit. Settings may use their professional judgement and choose to follow alternative approaches depending on their particular circumstances, but at all times will need to take account of relevant public health guidance to maximise safety for those in the environment.

The planning guide for early years and childcare settings can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/preparing-for-the-wider-opening-of-early-years-and-childcare-settings-from-1-june

Explanatory note on SAGE modelling

We have published an explanatory note on SAGE’s paper assessing the potential impact of more children returning to school on the transmission of coronavirus.

The explanatory note and the SAGE modelling paper can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/department-for-education-explanatory-note-on-sage-modelling

Online educational resources to support children to continue learning at home

We have updated our list of online resources that schools and parents can consider to support children’s continued learning at home. Schools have already been drawing on existing resources and tools they are familiar with to support children to continue learning at home and should continue to do so.

More information can be found here:

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

Schools can also now download the Oak National Academy schools pack, which provides guidance and videos to share and download. Packs are available for primary, secondary and specialist schools, and include the full Oak curriculum (until the end of summer term) to help schools plan.

Further information on the Oak schools pack and other remote education resources can be found here:

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

Awarding qualifications in summer 2020

The consultation outcomes for exceptional arrangements for exam grading and assessment in 2020 can be found here:

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

The consultation outcomes and response documents on the assessment and grading of vocational, technical and other general qualifications can also be found here:

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

Ofqual has published guidance for teachers, students, parents and carers on how GCSE, AS, A level, vocational and technical qualifications will be graded and awarded in summer 2020.

The guidance can be found here:

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

Arrangements for additional GCSE, AS and A level exam series in autumn 2020

The exceptional exam series was announced by the government when it cancelled the summer 2020 exam series as part of its response to the coronavirus outbreak. Ofqual has published a consultation on the proposed arrangements for an additional GCSE, AS and A level exam series to take place in autumn 2020. The deadline for responses is 8 June.

Further information on this consultation can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/consultation-on-an-additional-gcse-as-and-a-level-exam-series-in-autumn-2020

We have published new guidance for centres on who should be responsible for entering candidates for autumn exams and to provide clarity on the exam entry arrangements.

The guidance can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/responsibility-for-autumn-gcse-as-and-a-level-exam-series

Assessment only route for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)

We have updated our candidate assessment advice for qualified teacher status (QTS) to explain what should happen when a candidate’s progression on the assessment only route is interrupted as a consequence of the coronavirus outbreak.

The guidance can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-assessment-only-route-to-qts/assessment-only-route-to-qts-criteria-and-supporting-advice

Updated Student Loans Company guidance for current and prospective students

The Student Loans Company has updated their guidance for current and prospective students to include information on applying for Disabled Students’ Allowances.

The guidance for current students can be found here:

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

The guidance for prospective students can be found here:

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

The guidance can be found here:

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

 

Testing now available to anyone with symptoms of coronavirus

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

A coronavirus test can be booked here:

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

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

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

Updated guidance on managing school premises during the coronavirus outbreak

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

The guidance can be found here:

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

Guidance on the wider opening of education and childcare settings

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Department for Education coronavirus helpline – Monday 25 May Bank Holiday opening hours

The Department for Education coronavirus helpline is available to answer questions about COVID-19 relating to education and children’s social care.

Phone: 0800 046 8687

The helpline will remain open over the May Bank Holiday weekend for staff, parents and young people as follows:

10am to 4pm – Saturday, Sunday and Monday

Our standard opening hours will resume on Tuesday 26 May:

8am to 6pm – Monday to Friday
10am to 4pm – Saturday and Sunday

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

Secretary of State for Education’s statement on coronavirus

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

The transcript of the speech can be found here:

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

Updated guidance on providing free school meals during the coronavirus outbreak

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

The guidance can be found here:

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

Guidance on the wider opening of education and childcare settings

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Safer travel guidance for passengers during the coronavirus outbreak

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

The guidance can be found here:

Working safely during the coronavirus outbreak

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

The guidance can be found here:

 

The UK Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy

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

The roadmap can be found here:

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

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

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

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

The guidance can be found here:

Implementing protective measures in education and childcare settings

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

The guidance can be found here:

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

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

The guidance can be found here:

Eligibility for government childcare offers protected

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

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

This announcement can be found here:

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

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

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

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

 

New virtual cyber initiative for teenagers

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

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

Department for Education coronavirus helpline – Friday 8 May Bank Holiday opening hours

The Department for Education coronavirus helpline is available to answer questions about COVID-19 relating to education and children’s social care.

Phone: 0800 046 8687

The helpline will remain open over the early May Bank Holiday weekend for staff, parents and young people as follows:

10am to 4pm – Friday, Saturday and Sunday

Our standard opening hours will resume on Monday 11 May:

8am to 6pm – Monday to Friday
10am to 4pm – Saturday and Sunday

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

 

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

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

The guidance can be found here:

Private candidates entered for GCSEs, AS and A levels

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

The guidance can be found here:

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

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

Government support package for universities and students

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

This announcement can be found here:

 

McColl’s joins the free school meals national voucher scheme

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

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

Students in England encouraged to apply now for student finance

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

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

Applications for student finance can be made here:

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

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

The guidance can be found here:

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

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

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

 

Updates to the school admission appeals process

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

The guidance can be found here:

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

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

Further information on this consultation can be found here:

 

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

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

The guidance can be found here: 

 

Update on national voucher scheme for schools providing free school meals

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

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

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

Full details of this scheme can be found here:

This is your daily email to keep you updated on the government’s response to coronavirus (COVID-19).

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

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

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

The guidance can be found here:

Aldi joins free school meals national voucher scheme

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

This announcement can be found here:

Launch of the Oak National Academy online classroom and resource hub

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

The Oak National Academy can be accessed here:

Launch of BBC Bitesize

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

BBC Bitesize can be accessed here:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This guidance can be found here:

Special educational needs and disability (SEND) risk assessment guidance

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

The guidance can be found here:

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

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

This guidance can be found here:

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

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

Guidance on helping children aged 2 to 4 learn at home can be found here:

Guidance on helping primary school aged children learn at home can be found here:

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

 

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

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

This guidance can be found here:


The information below has not changed.


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 and Sunday 

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

Handwashing advice

It is essential that everyone washes their hands more often, using soap and water for at least 20 seconds. 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.

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

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:

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: