Coronavirus Information 18th May 2020

18th May 2020

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

Secretary of State for Education’s statement on coronavirus

Secretary of State for Education, Gavin Williamson, spoke at the daily press conference on Saturday about the Government’s response to the coronavirus outbreak and plans for schools safely opening to more pupils.

The transcript of the speech can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/education-secretarys-statement-on-coronavirus-covid-19-16-may

Guidance on supporting vulnerable children and young people during the coronavirus outbreak

We have updated our guidance for education settings and local authorities on supporting vulnerable children and young people. This now reflects plans for more year groups to return to education settings and confirms that vulnerable children and young people remain a priority and are expected to attend if appropriate.

This guidance can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-vulnerable-children-and-young-people

Updated guidance on the actions for early years and childcare providers during the coronavirus outbreak

We have updated our guidance on the actions for early years and childcare providers during the coronavirus outbreak. This includes confirmation that we are asking childcare providers to prepare for wider opening from 1 June, at the earliest, information on the provision that childminders can currently provide and when they can reopen to more children, and information for parents on the temporary changes to the 30 hours free early education entitlements.

The guidance can be found here:

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

Guidance on awarding qualifications in summer 2020

Ofqual has published additional information for heads of centre, heads of department and teachers on objectivity in grading and ranking when awarding grades for GCSE, AS and A levels in summer 2020.

The guidance can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/awarding-qualifications-in-summer-2020

Updated guidance on providing free school meals during the coronavirus outbreak

We have updated our guidance on the provision of free school meals during the coronavirus outbreak to reflect the plans for the wider opening of schools from 1 June, at the earliest.

The guidance can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance

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