Corona Virus (COVID-19) Updates
27th March 2020
This is your daily email to keep you updated on the government’s response to COVID-19 (coronavirus).
Guidance on implementing social distancing in education and childcare settings
On 24th March we published new guidance on how to implement social distancing in education and childcare settings. This guidance also gives advice for individuals in vulnerable health groups:
It is important to read this alongside the overall guidance for social distancing:
Staying at home guidance
In his address to the nation on coronavirus (COVID-19), the Prime Minister asked people to stay at home, except for very limited purposes.
There is no change in guidance for education settings, which remain closed except for the children of critical workers and vulnerable children. We continue to ask that parents keep their children at home, wherever possible.
The full stay at home guidance is available at:
Employer support in response to coronavirus (COVID-19)
The government has published a full range of support measures for UK employers and employees:
The information outlines how to access the support that has been made available, who is eligible, when the schemes open and how to apply.
Guidance on vulnerable children and young people
New guidance has been published answering some of your frequently asked questions about the provisions being made for vulnerable children and young people. This covers children and young people:
- supported by the child social care system
- with education health and care (EHC) plans
- in alternative provision (AP) settings
You can access the guidance at:
Information to cascade to parents and carers
From Friday 20 March schools, childcare and other educational settings are closed for everyone except:
- children of critical workers
- vulnerable children
We have published guidance for parents and carers:
If parents’ work is critical to the coronavirus response, their children will be prioritised for early years and education provision.
The Government has published a list of critical workers:
Please cascade the above information to parents and carers where possible.
Further details on exams and grades announced
New details regarding the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on summer exams has been released.
The exam regulator, Ofqual, and exam boards will work with teachers to provide grades to students whose exams have been cancelled this summer, following our actions to slow the spread of coronavirus.
Ofqual and exam boards will be discussing with teachers’ representatives before finalising an approach, to ensure that it is as fair as possible.
Find details on the impact on summer exams here:
More information will be provided as soon as possible.
The most important thing individuals can do to protect themselves is to wash their hands more often, for at least 20 seconds, with soap and water. Public Health England recommends that in addition to handwashing before eating, and after coughing and sneezing, everyone should also wash hands after using toilets and travelling on public transport.
The latest guidance and video on hand washing can be found here:
Department for Education coronavirus helpline
The Department for Education coronavirus helpline is available to answer questions about COVID-19 relating to education and children’s social care. Staff, parents and young people can contact this helpline as follows:
Phone: 0800 046 8687
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday), 10am to 4pm (Saturday to Sunday)
Please note, we are currently experiencing high volumes of calls. We appreciate your patience at this time and apologise for any wait that you may experience. To ensure that we answer your calls as quickly as possible, we have now extended our opening hours to cover weekends and are increasing the number of call handlers available to answer your calls.
If you work in a school, please have your unique reference number (URN or UKPRN) available when calling the hotline.