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Coronavirus Update

The Department for Education is providing schools with daily advice and updates on the government's response to coronavirus. Any guidance relevant to students and parents will be published below. The following information is dated Monday 25th May:

 

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

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

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

Full details of this announcement can be found here:

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

Guidance for secondary school provision from 15 June

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

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

The guidance can be found here:

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

A planning guide for early years and childcare settings

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

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

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

Explanatory note on SAGE modelling

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

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

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

Online educational resources to support children to continue learning at home

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

More information can be found here:

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

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

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

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

Awarding qualifications in summer 2020

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

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

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

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

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

The guidance can be found here:

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

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

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

Further information on this consultation can be found here:

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

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

The guidance can be found here:

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

Assessment only route for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)

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

The guidance can be found here:

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

Updated Student Loans Company guidance for current and prospective students

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

The guidance for current students can be found here:

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

The guidance for prospective students can be found here:

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

Guidance on the wider opening of education and childcare 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 parents and carers as schools and other education settings in England open to more children and young people can be found here:

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

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

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

  • Phone: 0800 046 8687

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

  • 10am to 4pm – Saturday, Sunday and Monday

Our standard opening hours will resume on Tuesday 26 May:

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

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

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 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