Coronavirus Information 14th October 2020

14th October 2020

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

Guidance on safe working in education, childcare and children’s social care settings

We have updated our guidance on safe working in education, childcare and children’s social care settings to provide information on the care that staff members visiting families in their own homes should take.

We have also updated the guidance for members of staff who have been in close contact with a symptomatic person who subsequently tests positive. This guidance applies even if the staff member wore personal protective equipment (PPE).

Prepare for the new immigration system – recruiting teachers and other skilled workers from overseas

The new points-based immigration system will apply to all overseas nationals who arrive in the United Kingdom on or after 1 January 2021. These overseas nationals, including those from the European Economic Area and Switzerland, will need to apply for a visa. Schools and other employers may need to prepare for this change by becoming visa sponsors if they want to recruit teachers or other skilled workers who are not UK or Irish nationals.

To help schools prepare for the new immigration system, we have published guidance about recruiting teachers from overseas. We are also hosting a webinar with the Home Office that will provide schools with information about the points-based immigration system. Schools can sign up for this webinar using the link below:

Thursday 5 November – 4pm

Further information on the points-based immigration system can be found in the guidance on the new immigration system: what you need to know.

Prepare for the new immigration system – welcoming children who are overseas nationals

From 1 January 2021, European Economic Area and Swiss national children applying from abroad will be treated the same as any other foreign national child. This means that they will not normally be able to enter the United Kingdom to study at a state funded school or 16-19 academy.

Schools should continue to offer places to foreign national children who are resident in the United Kingdom.

Independent schools will be able to continue to welcome foreign national children from overseas on study visas. European Economic Area and Swiss nationals will need these visas to enter the country to study at an independent school.

Further information on how to process applications made from another country for a state-funded school place in England can be found in our schools admissions guidance: applications for overseas children.

Vulnerable children and young people survey report

To help understand the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak on children’s social care in England, we asked local authorities to provide us with information on children’s social care between May and September.

We have now published the vulnerable children and young people survey report that provides a summary of the information that was provided by local authorities.

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

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: