Coronavirus updated advice

Latest updates on the government's response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Thank you message from the Secretary of State for Education

Gavin Williamson, Secretary of State for Education, has recorded a message for staff across the education and children’s social care sectors thanking you for all the exceptional work that you are doing during this challenging time.  The message can be viewed here:

• twitter.com/GavinWilliamson/status/1245763274496507904

Social distancing in education and childcare settings

Staying at home guidance

Yesterday, the Prime Minister addressed the nation on coronavirus (COVID-19) and 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:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/full-guidance-on-staying-at-home-and-away-from-others

Guidance for early years and childcare providers

We have published new guidance for Ofsted-registered childcare providers about childcare provision following the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19):

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-early-years-and-childcare-closures

Employer support in response to coronavirus

The government has published a full range of support measures for UK employers and employees:

https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/coronavirus-business-support/

The information outlines how to access the support that has been made available, who is eligible, when the schemes open and how to apply.

Collection of guidance for educational settings on GOV.UK

All of the Department for Education’s coronavirus guidance for educational settings can now be found in one place on GOV.UK:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-schools-and-other-educational-settings

Handwashing advice

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:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public

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.

Links to the latest information

Updated 3 April 2020