Quick Links

Useful Links

Ilmington Church of England Primary

COVID-19 Information

This information page will be updated regularly to inform families about the schools procedures relating to COVID-19 (known as Corona Virus).

We will be using the educational resources recommended to support the children with personal hygiene, hand washing and understanding the practical things we can all do to keep healthy.

Should any member of our school community be affected by COVID-19, the school will follow the guidance contained in the information below.

 

UPDATED 01.12.20

Tier 3 in Warwickshire 

From Wednesday 2 December, Warwickshire will be in Tier 3: Very high alert 

There will be new restrictions in place, to find out more visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/local-restriction-tiers-what-you-need-to-know#very-high-alert 

 

 

Christmas Bubbles 

Between 23-27 December, social contact restrictions are changing to allow people to create a ‘Christmas bubble’ of no more than three households. 

For more information, visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/making-a-christmas-bubble-with-friends-and-family/making-a-christmas-bubble-with-friends-and-family 

 

 

The parent and carer webpage can be found here-   

https://schools.warwickshire.gov.uk/coronavirus/coronavirus-advice-parents/1  

You can contact Warwickshire Family Information Service at:  

 

UPDATED 04.09.20 

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.

Guidance for schools and local authorities on improving school attendance

We have published new guidance for schools and local authorities to support them to improve school attendance. This guidance sets out the principles underpinning an effective whole school strategy for attendance and provides actions that school leaders, teachers, attendance staff and local authorities may consider taking to improve attendance for all pupils, pupils at risk of persistent absence, and pupils who are persistently absent.

This guidance is intended as optional support to schools as they return to full attendance from the start of the autumn term and carry out any re-assessment of attendance policies and practice.

Devices available for children who cannot attend school due to coronavirus (COVID-19)

The Department will provide more laptops and tablets for disadvantaged children to access remote education if local coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions are required. Devices are also available for disadvantaged and clinically extremely vulnerable children who are shielding or self-isolating following official public health advice.

We have written to local authorities and academy trusts to let them know they can now choose to let schools order their own devices. If your local authority or academy trust makes you responsible for ordering, you will get an email with details about nominating contacts and how to order.

In the meantime, we recommend schools prepare by thinking about who in the school is best suited to place orders for devices, and by reading more about which pupils will be allocated devices.

Find out more about the Get help with technology programme.

Updated guidance on providing apprenticeships during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

We have updated our guidance for apprentices, employers, training providers and assessment organisations on the provision of apprenticeships during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak to include information on the new incentive payment for hiring a new apprentice and confirmation that we are planning to restart routine funding audits from September 2020.

We have also provided information on how apprentices who have been made redundant, or who are at risk of redundancy, can access online and telephone support through the Redundancy Support Service for Apprentices.

The information below hasn’t changed since yesterday.

Exam Results Helpline now available until 18 September

The Exam Results Helpline, delivered by the National Careers Service, has been extended and will now be available until 18 September to provide additional support to students and their parents as they consider their next steps. 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.

UPDATED 01.06.20PM

 

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

Wider opening of educational settings

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

Handwashing and respiratory hygiene posters

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/eng_home.aspx?cc=eng&ss=1&t=Information%20about%20the%20Coronavirus

Updated guidance on supply of personal protective equipment (PPE)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The guidance can be found here:

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

Space related educational resources for home schooling

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

The resources are available here:

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

Updated advice for tier 2, 4 and 5 visa sponsors

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

The guidance can be found here:

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

The information below has not changed since yesterday.

Preparing for the wider opening of schools and early years settings

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 early years providers to help them prepare to open their settings for children of all ages from 1 June can be found here:

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

Guidance for primary schools to help them prepare to open to Reception, year 1 and year 6 from 1 June can be found here:

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

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

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

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

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 helpline.

Collection of guidance for educational settings on GOV.​UK

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

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

 

UPDATED 13.05.20 13:49PM

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

Opening schools for more children and young people: initial planning framework for schools in England

All schools are different, and it is not possible for government to set specific national guidelines that could be universally applicable. Instead, we have created a framework to help school leaders and academy trusts to start thinking through the steps they might need to take to enable them to open their schools for more pupils. The framework is designed for schools. Further guidance for childcare providers and colleges will be published shortly.

The framework 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 the wider opening of early years settings

Our published guidance sets out that, subject to conditions, childminders and all early years settings can open to more children from 1 June.

In line with the Prime Minister’s roadmap of the COVID-19 recovery strategy, encouraging people who cannot work from home to return to work where possible, and to align with the Government’s position on nannies, we will be updating our guidance for early years settings to confirm that paid childcare can be provided to the children of one household from Wednesday 13 May.

This includes childminders, who may choose to look after the children of one household if they are not already looking after vulnerable children or those of critical workers.

Update on the national voucher scheme for free school meals (FSM)

On Tuesday 12 May our national voucher scheme supplier, Edenred, reported that voucher codes totalling more than £70m have been redeemed into supermarket eGift cards by schools and families. To ensure that your orders are processed effectively, please order multiple eCodes together wherever possible.

Full details of the scheme can be found here:

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

The information below has not changed since yesterday.

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 helpline.

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

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

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

·       https://e-bug.eu/

Collection of guidance for educational settings on GOV.​UK

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

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

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

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

 

 UPDATED 12.05.20 09:06AM

The UK Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy

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

The roadmap can be found here:

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

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

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

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

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

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

The guidance can be found here:

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

Implementing protective measures in education and childcare settings

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

The guidance can be found here:

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

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

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

The guidance can be found here:

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

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 helpline.

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

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

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

·       https://e-bug.eu/

Collection of guidance for educational settings on GOV.​UK

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

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

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

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

UPDATED 11.05.20 14:20PM


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The guidance can be found here:

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

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

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

The guidance can be found here:

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

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

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

The guidance can be found here:

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

The information below has not changed since yesterday.

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 helpline.

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

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

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

·       https://e-bug.eu/

Collection of guidance for educational settings on GOV.​UK

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

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

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

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

 UPDATED 17.04.20 13:29 PM

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

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

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

The guidance can be found here:

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

The information below has not changed since yesterday.

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:

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

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

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

·       https://e-bug.eu/

Collection of guidance for educational settings on GOV.​UK

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

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

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

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

UPDATED 20.03.20  17:00 PM

Key Worker & Vulnerable Children Letter

Key Worker & Vulnerable Children Form

 

UPDATED 19.03.2020   15:30 PM

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:

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

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

Update on assessments and examinations 

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

New free school meals guidance

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

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

Full guidance can be found here:

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

Update on school funding

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

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

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:

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

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 UK PRN) available when calling the hotline.

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

Guidance for social or community care and residential settings:

·       https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-for-social-or-community-care-and-residential-settings-on-covid-19

Travel advice for those travelling and living overseas:

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

Educational resources:

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

·       https://campaignresources.phe.gov.uk/schools

Latest Department for Education information:

·       https://twitter.com/educationgovuk

·       https://www.facebook.com/educationgovuk/

UPDATED     18.03.20      19:32PM

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

UPDATED 18.03.20  15:31 PM

Statement from the Education Secretary

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

COVID-19 Emergency Bill

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

·       a power to remove or relax some requirements around education and childcare legislation in order to help these institutions run effectively in the event of an emergency

·       a power to require schools, further education and childcare settings to stay open or re-open, operate in ways to support continued education and childcare such as enable pupils / students to attend different premises, to enhance resilience of childcare and education sector

·       a power to close educational institutions or childcare providers. This will happen only where necessary and proportionate, to help minimise disruption to everyday life. The measures would only be put in place for the period of time required to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak

·       powers to bring additional social workers onto the register of social workers held by the regulator, Social Work England 

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

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

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

Updated advice for non-essential travel worldwide

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

The latest travel guidance can be found here:

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

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

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

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

The full statement can be found here:

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

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:

·       https://youtu.be/bQCP7waTRWU

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 UK PRN) available when calling the hotline.

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

Guidance for social or community care and residential settings:

·       https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-for-social-or-community-care-and-residential-settings-on-covid-19

Travel advice for those travelling and living overseas:

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

Educational resources:

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

·       https://campaignresources.phe.gov.uk/schools

Latest Department for Education information:

·       https://twitter.com/educationgovuk

·       https://www.facebook.com/educationgovuk/

 

Letter to Parents - 18.03.20 PM  13:15PM

 

 UPDATED 17.03.20   14:39PM

New guidance for households with symptoms

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

·       if you live alone and you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), however mild, stay at home for 7 days from when your symptoms started

·       if you live with others and you or another member of the household have symptoms of coronavirus, then all household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill. It is likely that people living within a household will infect each other or be infected already. Staying at home for 14 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community

·       for anyone in the household who starts displaying symptoms, they need to stay at home for 7 days from when the symptoms appeared, regardless of what day they are on in the original 14-day isolation period.

The symptoms are:

·       A high temperature (37.8 degrees and above)

·       A new, continuous cough

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

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

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

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

Temporary suspension of Ofsted inspections

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

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

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

·       https://youtu.be/UkW7QcTsBcY

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

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).

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:

·       https://youtu.be/bQCP7waTRWU

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 UK PRN) available when calling the hotline.

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

Guidance for social or community care and residential settings:

·       https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-for-social-or-community-care-and-residential-settings-on-covid-19

Travel advice for those travelling and living overseas:

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

Educational resources:

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

·       https://campaignresources.phe.gov.uk/schools

Latest Department for Education information:

·       https://twitter.com/educationgovuk

·       https://www.facebook.com/educationgovuk/

 UPDATED 16.03.20   13.39PM

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:

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

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

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

Recording school pupil absences

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

If a pupil does not attend school, despite the school operating as usual and the pupil is not self-isolating, they should be marked as absent. It is for headteachers to determine whether or not the absence is authorised depending on the individual circumstances.

Where a pupil cannot attend school due to illness, as normally would happen, the pupil should be recorded as absent in the attendance register and the school will authorise the absence. Code I (Illness) should be used in this instance.

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:

·       https://youtu.be/bQCP7waTRWU

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:

·       https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Guidance for educational settings:

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

Guidance for social or community care and residential settings:

·       https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-for-social-or-community-care-and-residential-settings-on-covid-19

Travel advice for those travelling and living overseas:

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

Educational resources:

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

·       https://campaignresources.phe.gov.uk/schools

Latest Department for Education information:

·       https://twitter.com/educationgovuk

·       https://www.facebook.com/educationgovuk/

UPDATED 13.03.20    14:52PM

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:

·       https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-action-plan

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:

·       https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19/covid-19-travel-guidance-for-the-education-sector

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:

·       https://youtu.be/bQCP7waTRWU

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:

·       https://campaignresources.phe.gov.uk/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:

·       https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Guidance for educational settings:

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

Guidance for social or community care and residential settings:

·       https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-for-social-or-community-care-and-residential-settings-on-covid-19

Travel advice for those travelling and living overseas:

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

Educational resources:

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

·       https://campaignresources.phe.gov.uk/schools

Latest Department for Education information:

·       https://twitter.com/educationgovuk

·       https://www.facebook.com/educationgovuk/

 

 UPDATED 11.03.20 13:18pm

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

Foreign and Commonwealth Office travel advice

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

·       against all but essential travel to Italy

·       against all travel to Hubei Province, in China

·       against all but essential travel to the rest of mainland China

·       against all travel to the cities of Daegu, Cheongdo and Gyeongsan in South Korea

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

The latest travel advice can be found here:

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

Updated 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:

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

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

·       https://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/2020/02/20/what-is-self-isolation-and-why-is-it-important/

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.

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:

·       https://youtu.be/bQCP7waTRWU

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

·       https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9VjeIWLnEg

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.

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:

·       https://campaignresources.phe.gov.uk/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
Email: DfE.coronavirushelpline@education.gov.uk
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)

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:

·       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

Educational resources:

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

·       https://campaignresources.phe.gov.uk/schools

Latest Department for Education information:

·       https://twitter.com/educationgovuk

·       https://www.facebook.com/educationgovuk/

Please keep your GIAS contacts up to date

If you work in a school, please take this opportunity to review your contact information in Get Information About School (GIAS).

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

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

UPDATED 10.03.20  15:13pm

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:

·       https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-action-plan

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:

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

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

·       https://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/2020/02/20/what-is-self-isolation-and-why-is-it-important/

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: 

·       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. 

Department for Education coronavirus helpline

The Department for Education coronavirus helpline is now 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
Email: DfE.coronavirushelpline@education.gov.uk
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)

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:

·       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

Educational resources

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

·       https://campaignresources.phe.gov.uk/schools

Latest Department for Education information:

·       https://twitter.com/educationgovuk

·       https://www.facebook.com/educationgovuk/

Please keep your GIAS contacts up to date

If you work in a school, please take this opportunity to review your contact information in Get Information About School (GIAS).

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

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

 

UPDATED 09.03.20  13:28

Exam preparation and Ofqual advice

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

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

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

The latest updates from Ofqual can be found here:

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

Department for Education coronavirus helpline

The Department for Education coronavirus helpline is now 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
Email: DfE.coronavirushelpline@education.gov.uk
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)

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:

·       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

Educational resources

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

·       https://campaignresources.phe.gov.uk/schools

Latest Department for Education information:

·       https://twitter.com/educationgovuk

·       https://www.facebook.com/educationgovuk/

UPDATED 04.03.20 14:06

Government Coronavirus action plan

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

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

The document includes:

·       what we know about the virus and the disease it causes

·       how we have planned for an infectious disease outbreak, such as the current coronavirus outbreak

·       the actions we have taken so far in response to the current coronavirus outbreak

·       what we are planning to do next, depending upon the course the current coronavirus outbreak takes

·       the role the public can play in supporting this response, now and in the future

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

The 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.

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

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

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.

Department for Education Coronavirus helpline

On Monday we 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)

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

 

Updated about COVID-19 – Novel Coronavirus 02.03.20, 06:30am 

Key advice for returning travellers Information for returning travellers has been updated to include a number of new countries, with specific advice depending on the area/towns in the countries that they may have been to/through: Detailed information and advice for the public can be found on the NHS.uk website (and will be regularly updated):

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

Further information for the public about the situation can be found here (and will be regularly updated):

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-information-for-the-public

Current situation To date there are 35 patients in England who have tested positive for COVID-19 to date, none of whom are in the West Midlands region. Of the remaining 11715 tests that have been undertaken in the UK, all have been confirmed as negative. The risk to individuals in the UK remains low.

 

This information is directly from the Department for Education and Public Health England and is accurate as of 13:30 on 28.02.20.

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 education 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 education 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 return to education.

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

Pupils, students and staff returning from school trips in specified countries/areas should follow the same advice as given above (sections 8, 9 and 10).

12. 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.

13. 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.

14. 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.

15. 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:

15.1 KS1: Horrid Hands and Super Sneezes

Horrid hands

Super sneezes

15.2 KS2: Hand Hygiene and Respiratory Hygiene

Hand hygiene

Respiratory hygiene

15.3 KS3: Hand Hygiene and Respiratory Hygiene

Hand hygiene

Respiratory hygiene

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