Update - Wednesday 14th October 2020
All information on this page is provided by the Department for Education to all schools in England.
Adjusting your delivery to provide remote learning.
From 22 October, schools must provide immediate access to remote learning to any pupils who can’t attend school due to coronavirus (COVID-19). This includes where a class, group or a small number of pupils need to self-isolate, or local restrictions require pupils to remain at home.
The Department for Education has put funding in place to support schools to access and set up a digital online platform through Microsoft or Google. These platforms can help to connect teachers and pupils when access to face-to-face education is disrupted. Further information on how schools can access these platforms and apply for support can be found on The Key for School Leaders.
Tailored support and training is also available to schools that need help transitioning to a virtual classroom through a network of Edtech Demonstrator schools and colleges. They provide peer-to-peer guidance to help you get the most out of your online platforms.
Further information on the support available to schools can be found in our guidance on the get help with technology programme.
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:
These rules will apply from 00:01 on Wednesday 14 October. Current local guidance must be followed until this time.
The government has prioritised ensuring all children can attend school safely, to support their wellbeing and education and help working parents and guardians. The tiers of restriction for education and childcare, summarised in annex 3 of the Contain Framework and in guidance on higher education, are not in scope of the Local COVID Alert Level framework. Decisions on any restrictions necessary in education or childcare settings are taken separately on a case-by-case basis in the light of local circumstances, including information about the incidence and transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19).
Our guidance to support education providers, local authorities and parents during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak can be accessed using the links below:
DfE guidance for Holiday and Out of School provision was updated on 28th September.
Protective measures for providers of community activities, holiday or after-school clubs, tuition and other out-of-school settings
offering provision to children during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
Updated to remove out of date summer references, added a section of links to venue-specific guidance and updated Test and Trace section
to reflect launch of the NHS COVID-19 app.
Guidance for parents and carers of children attending community activities, holiday or after-school clubs, tuition and other out-of-school settings.
Updated to remove out of date summer references.
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:
Public Health England launches Every Mind Matters campaignMost families have experienced upheaval in their daily lives during the pandemic. With children and young people now back at school or college, the new Public Health England (PHE) Better Health – Every Mind Matters campaign provides NHS-endorsed tips and advice to help children and young people’s mental wellbeing, and equip parents and carers with the knowledge to support them. The new advice available on the Every Mind Matters website has been developed in partnership with leading children and young people’s mental health charities, including Young Minds, The Mix, Place2Be and The Anna Freud Centre. It is designed to help parents and carers spot the signs that children may be struggling with their mental health and support them, and also provides advice that can help maintain good mental wellbeing. The site also provides tools to help young people build resilience and equips them to look after their mental wellbeing.
Updated guidance on providing free school meals during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreakIn April, we temporarily extended free school meals eligibility to include some groups who have no recourse to public funds (NRPF). This temporary extension will continue as schools return for the autumn term and covers both pupils who are attending school and who are unable to attend if they are required to self-isolate or if local lockdown arrangements are in place. Further information on the eligibility criteria can be found in the guidance for the temporary extension of free school meals eligibility to NRPF groups.
What to do if a pupil is displaying symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19)
We have published a list of actions that early years, schools and further education colleges must follow in the event that a child or young person displays symptoms or if they confirm they have tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19). The action lists are sector specific and print friendly. They can be accessed using these links:
If anyone in your early years setting, school or college confirms to you a positive test for coronavirus (COVID-19), you should notify your local health protection team immediately. The health protection team will work with you to carry out a rapid risk assessment and identify the appropriate next steps.
The Joint Biosecurity Centre has also published Action Cards to provide the latest instructions for anyone responsible for businesses or organisations on how to identify, report and respond to coronavirus (COVID-19) cases. This includes action cards for the education sector, with more detail about what information your local health protection team may ask you.
Public Health England has been made aware of rumours circulating on social media which suggest that, under the Coronavirus Act, school children displaying COVID-19 symptoms can be taken and detained by the state in a government testing centre and held for 14 days, plus tested without parental consent, according to a letter from the Children’s Commissioner.
“We have been alerted to these very troubling messages and can understand why they would be alarming for any parent or carer.
The Coronavirus Act is very clear that we can only screen or assess a child for COVID-19 in the presence of their carer, parent or guardian.
For most people, children and parents will be asked to isolate at home as a family for 14 days if required. If, for any reason, this isn’t possible, alternative arrangements will always be discussed with the parents or guardians.
If your child displays symptoms it is very important that they get a test and that they do not go to school or nursery so that they don’t make any other children unwell. If they become unwell at school, you will be contacted, asked to remove them from school and advised to take them for a test.”
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.
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.
Back to school: School leaders communication pack
We have created a communications pack with materials to help you inform and reassure parents who are preparing for their children’s return to school. The pack includes leaflets, images and videos to share with parents on the importance of regular handwashing, advice on travelling to and from school and templates for you to tailor for your school.
These resources are available to download through our Dropbox and the Public Health England communications resources hub.
We will update this pack as and when more content becomes available.
Parents are encouraged to visit gov.uk/backtoschool for information and practical guidance to help them plan for their children’s return to school. This includes our latest update to the guidance for parents and carers on what they need to know about early years providers, schools and colleges in the autumn term.
Updated guidance on protective measures for holiday or after-school clubs and other out-of-school settings for children
We have updated our guidance on the protective measures for holiday and after-school clubs and other out-of-school settings for children during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak to set out the protective measures that are required from the start of the autumn term. This includes group sizes, and how providers can minimise the risk of children mixing outside of their school groups. We have also provided additional information on non-overnight domestic educational visits, and the use and cleaning of shared equipment and resources.
We have also updated our guidance for parents and carers of children attending out-of-school settings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak to align with these changes.
Reception Baseline Assessment
Information about the development of an assessment for pupils in reception to measure their progress in primary schools.
In response to the 2017 primary assessment consultation, the government announced plans to introduce a statutory reception baseline assessment (RBA) in autumn 2020. Due to the challenging circumstances faced by schools in the context of the covid-19 pandemic, statutory introduction of the RBA has been postponed to Autumn 2021. Instead, schools have the opportunity to sign up to the RBA Early Adopter year.
The full guidance can be found here
Keeping Children Safe Online
Advice and guidance to help parents and carers to keep children safe online during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
New information on apps to help children stay safe online. The full guidance can be found here.
Guidance for parents and carers on supporting their children’s education during the coronavirus outbreak
We have published information, guidance and support for parents and carers of children who are learning at home during the coronavirus outbreak.
Guidance on helping secondary school children continue their education during the coronavirus outbreak can be found here:
We have updated our guidance on helping primary school aged children learn at home to include information on the wider opening of educational settings.
The guidance can be found here:
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.
Please see attached resource suggestions which you may find useful whilst families are being asked to practice social distancing. Also a reminder that the Local Offer has all resources for children with SEN, including advice to parents and children who are at home: