Coronavirus Information 13th October 2020

13th October 2020

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

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:

Announcement on summer exam series 2021

Yesterday, the Secretary of State for Education, Gavin Williamson, announced that the summer exam series will be delayed by 3 weeks giving students more time to prepare for their exams. Exams will begin on 7 June and end on 2 July for almost all A and AS levels and GCSE’s.

Results days will now be held in the same week on 24 August for A and AS levels and 27 August for GCSE students.

The Government will engage widely with the sector over the next six weeks to identify any risks to exams at a national, local and individual student level and consider measures needed to address any potential disruption.

More detail will be published later in the autumn, to ensure students have confidence that they will be fairly treated in terms of assessment in 2021.

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.

The information below hasn’t changed since our last update

Department for Education coronavirus (COVID-19) helpline opening hours

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

Please listen carefully to the available options and select the most appropriate option for your nursery, school, college or university:

  •          Option 1 – If you are a member of staff calling from an early years setting, school, further education provider or out of school setting and need advice on the action to take to respond to a positive case of coronavirus (COVID-19) in your setting
  •          Option 2 – If you are a member of staff calling from a university and need advice on the action to take to respond to a positive case of coronavirus (COVID-19) on campus
  •          Option 3 – If you work at a school and have questions about coronavirus (COVID-19) relating to education and children’s social care
  •          Option 4 – If you work at a college, training provider, early years setting, children’s social care or higher education institution and have questions about coronavirus (COVID-19) relating to education and children’s social care

You can contact this helpline by calling:

Phone: 0800 046 8687

Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm
Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 4pm

Public Health England’s (PHE) dedicated advice service opening hours

Public Health England’s (PHE) dedicated advice service is available to early years providers, schools, colleges and out of school settings. The service provides support on the actions staff should take when they have been informed of a confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19) in their setting (i.e. a pupil or staff member testing positive).

Phone: 0800 046 8687 – option 1 to report a positive test within your setting

Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm
Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 4pm

You should continue to inform your local authority of a positive case in your setting.

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 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