Coronavirus Information 15th May 2020

15th May 2020

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

Preparing for wider opening of schools: a planning guide for primary schools

We have published a planning guide for primary school leaders to help them open their schools to more pupils from week commencing 1 June. The guide has been designed by school leaders for school leaders. It is intended to be a starting point from which those responsible for mainstream primary schools can develop their plans for wider opening to include all pupils in Reception, year 1 and year 6, alongside the children of critical workers and vulnerable children. This planning guide builds on the recently published planning framework.

The planning guide for primary schools can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/preparing-for-the-wider-opening-of-schools-from-1-june

The initial planning framework for schools in England can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-educational-and-childcare-settings-to-prepare-for-wider-opening-from-1-june-2020

New guidance on safe working in education, childcare and children’s social care

We have published new guidance on preventing and controlling infection, including the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), in education, childcare and children’s social care settings during the coronavirus outbreak. This guidance is for all staff in education, childcare and children’s social care settings, young people and parents. This guidance explains the principles of infection prevention and control to enable safe working during the coronavirus outbreak including advice on minimising contact, changes to work practices, hand and respiratory hygiene, increased cleaning of the environment and when you might need to use PPE.

The guidance can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/safe-working-in-education-childcare-and-childrens-social-care

Updated guidance on the actions for further education colleges and providers during the coronavirus outbreak

We have updated our guidance on the actions for further education colleges and providers during the coronavirus outbreak. This update provides further information to plan for wider opening, including what to consider and the steps to take when planning increased attendance. We have also updated the information on safeguarding and mental health support.

The guidance can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-further-education-provision

The information below has not changed since yesterday.

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 and Sunday

If you work in a school, please have your unique reference number (URN or UK PRN) available when calling the helpline.

Handwashing advice

It is essential that everyone washes their hands more often, using soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Hand washing with soap employs mechanical action that loosens bacteria and viruses from the skin, rinsing them into the drain. Drying hands afterwards makes the skin less hospitable to the virus. Hand sanitiser can be effective if soap is not available or the situation makes using soap less feasible (i.e. when outside) but using hand sanitiser provides none of the virus-destroying friction that rubbing your hands together and rinsing with water provides.

The latest guidance and video on hand washing can be found at:

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

The e-Bug project is led by Public Health England and has a dedicated webpage for learning resources on hand washing and respiratory hygiene.

Resources are currently available for KS1, KS2 and KS3 and can be used in various settings including schools and at home:

https://e-bug.eu/

Collection of guidance for educational settings on GOV.​UK

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

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