This is your daily email to keep you updated on the government’s response to coronavirus (COVID-19).
Targeted coronavirus (COVID-19) testing to be offered to children in north east London, Kent and Essex
Yesterday the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock, announced that Mobile Testing Units will be used in areas across north east London, parts of Essex and parts of Kent to test secondary school and college aged children and young people.
From today all staff, students and their families in certain secondary schools and colleges in London, Essex and Kent will be urged to get tested.
The eligible schools and colleges will be contacted to explain what this means in practice and provide information on how to get involved, and further information about testing for parents and carers.
Any student, staff or family members who test positive will have to isolate for the required period. NHS Test and Trace will work closely with local authorities to take appropriate measures to support contacts within schools and carry out necessary contact tracing.
Further information on this announcement and the areas in London, Essex and Kent that will receive additional testing can be found in the press release on targeted testing.
Ofqual open consultation: support materials and advance information in 2021 GCSE, AS and A level exams
Ofqual has opened a consultation survey on advance information about topics to be covered in GCSE, AS and A level exams in 2021 and support materials in exams in England.
This consultation closes at 11:45pm on 20 December 2020
The information below has not changed since our last update
Department for Education coronavirus (COVID-19) helpline – holiday hours
The Department for Education coronavirus (COVID-19) helpline and the PHE Advice Service (option 1) will be available over the holidays to answer any questions you have about coronavirus (COVID-19) relating to education settings and children’s social care. These helplines will close on the bank holidays and have shortened opening hours on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.
Phone: 0800 046 8687
24 December – 8am to 4pm
25 to 28 December – Closed
29 to 30 December – 8am to 6pm
31 December – 9am to 4pm
1 January – Closed
2 to 3 January – 10am to 6pm
Until 24 December, the helpline opening hours are:
Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm
Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 6pm
Please listen carefully to all of the available options before selecting the most appropriate option for your nursery, school, college or university.
Please select option 1 or 2 if you require specific advice on the action to take to respond to a positive case of coronavirus (COVID-19) in your setting. This option will take you through to a dedicated team of NHS Business Services Authority advisors who will work through a risk assessment with you to identify close contacts and will inform you what action is needed based on the latest public health advice.
Please select option 3 or 4 for any other questions about coronavirus (COVID-19) relating to education settings and children’s social care.
Look up your unique organisation number (UON)
If you have not received your unique organisation number (UON) for ordering new coronavirus (COVID-19) test kits you can look it up using your unique reference number (URN) or your UK provider reference number (UKPRN) or by calling the Test and Trace helpdesk on 119.
Department for Education guidance
Our guidance to support education providers, local authorities and parents during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak can be accessed using the links below: