For the overall government advice to the public, we suggest you visit the main government coronavirus page. It’s updated regularly and contains all the current advice and links to the latest information for everyone
This can be used in conjunction with the NHS main COVID-19 page, which includes all the latest health advice. This includes links to mental health resources as well as what can all do to help prevent the spread of the virus, protect the NHS and save lives.
The government has confirmed that they will give us the flexibility to deliver meals or provide shop vouchers to students entitled to free school meals if they are no longer attending college, either due to closures or as a result of self-isolating at home.
We 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.
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, they are currently experiencing high volumes of calls. They appreciate your patience at this time and apologise for any wait that you may experience. To ensure that they answer your calls as quickly as possible they have now extended our opening hours to cover weekends.
Government links to further resources
Testing is 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, ahead of the rollout of the test and trace service. 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:
Essential workers in England, Scotland or Northern Ireland, can apply for priority testing through GOV.UK. A coronavirus test can be booked here:
Further information on the NHS Test and Trace service can be found here:
Guidance on the NHS Test and Trace service for employers, businesses and workers can be found here:
Guidance on how the NHS Test and Trace works can be found here:
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:
Updated guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable from coronavirus (COVID-19)
On 22 June, the Government set out a series of steps for further relaxing shielding guidance which will come into effect on 6 July and 1 August, taking into account that coronavirus (COVID-19) infection rates have decreased significantly over the last few weeks.
From 1 August, the Government will be advising that shielding will be paused. From this date, those people previously shielding are advised to adopt strict social distancing rather than full shielding measures. Children who are clinically extremely vulnerable can return to their education settings if they are eligible and in line with their peers.
Where possible children should practice frequent hand washing and social distancing. The Public Health England guidance for people who are shielding has been updated to reflect the changes.
The full guidance can be found here:
Guidance on implementing protective measures in education and childcare settings can be found here:
Updated guidance on keeping children safe online
The Government, Home Office and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, 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:
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 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 also 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.
Guidance for parents and carers as schools and other education settings in England open to more children and young people can be found here:
Actions for FE colleges and providers during the coronavirus outbreak:
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:
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:
Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing eligibility extended to help protect the most vulnerable
The government has announced that anyone in England showing symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) 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. Testing can be booked through a new online system.
Guidance on coronavirus (COVID-19) testing, including who is eligible for a test, how to get tested and the different types of test available can be found here:
Information for schools, students and parents on how qualifications will be graded and awarded in summer 2020 can be found from the Government at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/gcses-as-and-a-level-awarding-summer-2020?utm_source=55e334d1-aba8-4b4b-8142 – 0b90f1006770&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate
Updates on COVID-19:
Guidance for educational settings:
Guidance for social or community care and residential settings:
Travel advice for those travelling and living overseas:
Latest Department for Education information:
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