Loading ...

Corona Virus (COVID-19) Updates

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

The information below has not changed since the last update.

Update to guidance for parents

We have updated our guidance on what parents need to know about early years providers, schools and colleges during COVID-19.

The guidance now includes information on returning to boarding school from overseas, including arrangements for pupils to quarantine on arrival in the UK. It also provides additional information to support parents considering elective home education for their child.

We have also published a collection of guidance providing information for parents and carers of children attending early years settings, schools and colleges during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

This collection brings together information and guidance for parents on:

  • essential information for the spring term
  • coronavirus (COVID-19) testing
  • clubs and out-of-school settings
  • home schooling and remote education
  • support for children and young people

Asymptomatic testing information for parents and adults in households with children at school or college

NHS Test and Trace announced earlier this week, that all adults in households with school and college age children without symptoms can now access regular rapid coronavirus (COVID-19) testing.

Test kits can either be collected or ordered online, as set out below. 

Undertaking regular, rapid coronavirus (COVID-19) testing helps reduce transmission of the virus. Parents and other adults in households with children at school or college, who do not have symptoms, can now access regular, rapid coronavirus (COVID-19) testing. This includes childcare and support bubbles.

Tests are fast, easy and completely free. There are different ways for a household, childcare or support bubble to collect their test to take at home, twice-weekly:

  • through your employer, if they offer testing to employees
  • by collecting a home test kit from a local test site – anyone aged 18 or over can collect 2 packs of 7 tests
  • by ordering a home test kit online – please do not order online if you can access testing through other routes, this frees up home delivery for those who need it most

If you have any queries about the tests, and you live in England, please call 119 (free from mobiles and landlines). Lines are open every day from 7am to 11pm.

Children of primary school age (and below) without symptoms are not being asked to take a test.

Testing is voluntary, but strongly recommended to all who are eligible. Alongside the vaccine, washing hands, wearing face coverings, and maintaining social distancing, rapid testing plays a vital role in reducing transmission rates. Getting into the habit of regular testing as part of our everyday lives will help us all to play our part and do what we can to protect each other.

Prime Minister’s announcement

Yesterday, the Prime Minister announced the government’s plan for the return of all pupils to schools and colleges, as part of the roadmap for leaving lockdown. You can read a transcript of the Prime Minister’s speech which has now been published.

Updated guidance for parents on supporting children’s remote education

On 15 February, the Department for Education (DfE) updated the guidance for parents on supporting their children’s remote education to provide more information for parents and carers.

DfE has added top tips for supporting children during remote education, including links to information about the Reading Well booklist that supports mental health. They have also provided information on how to access online resources and services through your local library and online support for parents and carers to keep children and young people safe from online harm.

Read the updated guidance on remote education

Prime Minister’s statement on the national lockdown position

Yesterday, the Prime Minister announced that it will not be possible to resume face-to-face learning immediately after the February half-term and instead hopes it will be safe to commence the reopening of schools and colleges from Monday 8 March. This is in response to the national public health data and pressure on NHS capacity.

Education settings, as well as students, parents and carers will be given at least two weeks notice to prepare for a return to face-to-face education.

Schools and colleges will remain open to vulnerable children and young people and the children of critical workers after February half-term, as they are now. All other pupils will continue to receive high quality remote education at home. This is in line with the wider national lockdown measures to help minimise the spread of the virus and respond quickly to the new variant.

Early years provision should continue to remain open throughout and should continue to allow all children to attend full time or their usual timetabled hours. This includes Ofsted registered nurseries and childminders, maintained nursery schools, as well as nursery classes in schools and other pre-reception provision on school sites.

Education attendance restrictions are to be reviewed again in mid-February when the Government will look at when more pupils and students can be brought back into schools and further education.

Read the full statement made by the Prime Minister.

Self-isolation period reduced from 14 days to 10 days

Self-isolation is essential to reducing the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) as it breaks the chains of transmission. After reviewing the evidence, the Department for Health and Social Care is now confident that we can reduce the number of days that contacts self-isolate from 14 days to 10 days. This was set out in the UK Chief Medical Officers' statement on the self-isolation period on 11 December.

From today, the self-isolation period for close contacts of a positive case of coronavirus (COVID-19) has changed from 14 to 10 days. This change applies to all those who are currently self-isolating including those who commenced self-isolation before today. This means that if you are on the 11th, 12th or 13th day of your current self-isolation period today – you can stop isolating. Any new cases identified for self-isolation will be advised to self-isolate for 10 days.

We have updated our guidance to reflect this change.

The NHS test and trace app will be updated to reflect the change on Wednesday 17 December. Anyone who is, or has been, contacted by the NHS app to self-isolate before 17 December can reduce their isolation period by 3 days. From 17 December the NHS app will tell people to self-isolate for 10 days.

Updated guidance for parents and carers

We have updated our guidance on what parents and carers need to know about early years providers, schools and colleges during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak to include information on Ofsted inspections from January 2021.

We have also provided information on the arrangements for GCSE and A level exams in summer 2021, entry tests for selective schools, and assessments in primary and junior schools.

Local restriction tier posters

From Wednesday 2 December, England will move into local restriction tiers where different tiers of restrictions apply in different parts of the country.

The Cabinet Office has published a series of posters that provide information about the local restriction tiers.

The postcode checker can be used to find out the restrictions in your area or an area you plan to visit.

These rules will apply from 00:01 on Wednesday 2 December. Current national restrictions must be followed until this time.

Updated guidance for parents and carers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

We have updated our guidance for parents and carers to reflect the end of National Restrictions on 2 December and how these settings should operate under the local restriction tiers.

We have updated our guidance on what parents and carers need to know about early years providers, schools and colleges to clarify the position under the local restriction tiers for:

· clinically extremely vulnerable children

· face coverings

· music, dance and drama performances

· educational visits and trips

· extra-curricular activities

We have updated our guidance for parents and carers of children attending out-of-school settings to clarify the position under the local restriction tiers for:

· children with health care concerns

· parent and child groups

· music, dance and drama performances

Prime Minister announces new local COVID Alert Levels

Yesterday, the Prime Minister set out how the government will further simplify and standardise local rules by introducing a three-tiered system of local COVID Alert Levels in England – medium, high and very high.

Further information on what you can and cannot do if you live, work or travel in each of the local COVID Alert Levels can be found using the links below:

· Medium

· High

· Very high

These rules will apply from 00:01 on Wednesday 14 October. Current local guidance must be followed until this time.

Guidance on use of face covering when travelling to school or college

Children aged 11 and over are legally required to wear a face covering on public transport in England, unless exempt for health, age or disability reasons.

In accordance with advice from Public Health England, we recommend that local authorities advise children and young people aged 11 and over to wear a face covering when travelling on dedicated school transport, unless they are exempt. Coronavirus (COVID-19) usually spreads by droplets from coughs, sneezes and speaking. When used correctly, wearing a face covering may reduce the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) droplets in certain circumstances, helping to protect others.

Schools should support local authorities in promoting the use of face coverings when travelling to and from school, and help them to resolve any issues of non-compliance where appropriate.

The ‘Hands. Face. Space.’ campaign urges everyone to continue to wash their hands, cover their face and make space to control infection rates. The NHS has released a ‘Hands. Face. Space.’ video that may be a useful resource when communicating the importance of wearing a face covering on transport directly to children and young people.

Further information on face coverings can be found in our guidance on transport to school and other places of education: autumn term 2020.

Translation of guidance for parents and carers on early years providers, schools and colleges in the autumn term

We have translated our guidance for parents and carers with children in nursery, school, or college in the autumn term.

The guidance is now available in the following languages:

· Arabic

· Bengali

· Chinese – traditional

· Chinese – simplified

· French

· Gujarati

· Polish

· Portuguese

· Punjabi

· Romany

· Somali

· Turkish

· Urdu

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.

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

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

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

New guidance published on keeping children safe from abuse and harm

We have jointly published new guidance with the Home Office, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, and Public Health England on keeping children safe from abuse and harm. This guidance brings together sources of information about the main risks children may be vulnerable to during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and signposts you to help and support available.

The guidance can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-keeping-children-safe-from-abuse-and-harm

Online education resources for home learning update

We have updated our guidance for online education resources for home learning to include additional resources and new tips to help parents and carers with home education.

The list of resources can be found here:

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

Updated guidance on keeping children safe online

With the Home Office and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, we have updated advice and guidance to help parents and carers to keep children safe online during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak to include new information on apps to help children stay safe online.

The advice and guidance on keeping children safe online can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-keeping-children-safe-online

Safer travel guidance for passengers

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

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

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

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

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

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

The guidance can be found here:

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

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

Testing now available to anyone with symptoms of coronavirus

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

A coronavirus test can be booked here:

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

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

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

Launch of the NHS Test and Trace service

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The guidance can be found here:

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

Coronavirus testing eligibility and how test and testing kits work

Anyone in England showing symptoms of coronavirus who has to leave the home to go to work, or is aged 65 and over, is eligible for testing along with members of their households with symptoms. This is in addition to all essential workers with symptoms.

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

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested

The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency has published guidance for members of the public and patients about coronavirus tests and testing kits, including information on the different types of tests available and how they work.

The guidance can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-tests-and-testing-kits-for-coronavirus-covid-19-work

Safer travel guidance for passengers during the coronavirus outbreak

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

The guidance can be found here:

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

Working safely during the coronavirus outbreak

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

The guidance can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19

Eligibility for government childcare offers protected

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

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

This announcement can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/eligibility-for-government-childcare-offers-protected

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

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

The guidance can be found here:

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

Coronavirus (COVID-19) adoption support fund scheme to help vulnerable families

The Secretary of State for Education has announced that up to £8 million will be available for therapeutic support for families whose adopted children may have already suffered trauma and may be made more anxious owing to the uncertainty of the effects of the virus. Adoptive families will be offered emergency support including online counselling and couples therapy as the government expands the scope of the Adoption Support Fund to meet needs arising from the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Further details of this scheme can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/covid-19-adoption-support-fund-scheme-to-help-vulnerable-families

Online educational resources to support children to continue learning at home

We have published a list of online resources that parents, and schools can consider to support children to continue learning at home. The list will be updated over time, and includes a wide range of resources for all ages that schools can consider using as part of their planned curriculum. Schools have already been drawing on existing resources and tools they are familiar with to support children to continue learning at home and should continue to do so.

More information can be found here:

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

Updated handwashing advice

The most important thing individuals can do to protect themselves is to wash their hands more often. Soap and water and regular handwashing for at least 20 seconds is the best way of staying safe. Hand washing with soap employs mechanical action that loosens bacteria and viruses from the skin, rinsing them into the drain. Drying hands afterwards makes the skin less hospitable to the virus. Hand sanitiser can be effective if soap is not available or the situation makes using soap less feasible (i.e. when outside) but using hand sanitiser provides none of the virus-destroying friction that rubbing your hands together and rinsing with water provides.

A video on hand washing can be found at:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQCP7waTRWU&feature=youtu.be

 

 

 

 

Parent update - 15 July
Parent update - 25 June
Parent update - 28 May
Parent update - 26 May
Parent update - 28 April
Sheldon School Risk Assessment - March 2021
Parent update - 31 March
Parent update - 17 March
Parent update - 12 March
Parent update - 24 February
Parent update - 12 February
Parent update - 4 February
Parent update - 21 January
Parent update - 7 January
Parent update - 31 December
Parent update - 18 December
Parent update - 17 December
Parent update - 9 December
Parent update - 4 December
Wiltshire Council face covering letter 30 Nov
Parent update - 24 November
Parent update - 20 November
Parent update - 12 November
Parent update - 22 October
Parent update - 19 October
Parent update - 18 October
COVID update - 1 October
Parent update - 18 September
COVID19-LOMP Symptoms Response poster
COVID-19 Returning to School LA guidance
Parent update - 4 September
Return to school student and parent guide
COVID-19 school transport guidance
COVID-19 school transport FAQs
September return to school update
Parent update - 17 July
Aspens school communication to Parents
Year 11 and 13 explanatory letter to parents
Parent update - 3 July
Year 10 arrangements from 29th June
Parent update - coronavirus 19 June
Year 10 return final messages
Face-to-face opportunity for Years 7, 8 & 9
Year 10 arrangements from 15 June
Parent update - 22 May (Years 10 & 12)
Parent update - coronavirus 5 June
Parent update - coronavirus 15 May
Parent update - coronavirus 1 May
Parent update - coronavirus 24 April
Parent update - coronavirus 19th Mar
Parent update - coronavirus 24th March
Parent update - coronavirus 20th Mar
Letter to Y11-13 parents re awarding grades
Parent update - coronavirus 2nd April
Summer 2020 grades guidance for teachers, students
Questions answered - 18th Mar
Ofqual letter to students - Summer 2020 grading
KS5 Letter - 17th March
Parent update (Years 11 & 13) - March 23rd
KS4 Letter - 17th March
KS4 Home Study Support - 17th March
KS3 Letter - 17th March
KS3 Home Study Support - 17th March
School closure - Coronavirus 17th Mar
Suspected cases - letter to parents 16th Mar
Parent update - Coronavirus 13 Mar
Coronavirus - all parents 26 Feb