Coronavirus Information 28th April 2020

28th April 2020

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

Online learning platform to boost workplace skills launched

Free courses are available through the new online platform, the Skills Toolkit. This platform signposts to free, high-quality digital and numeracy courses to help people build up their skills, progress in work and boost their job prospects and confidence whilst at home.

Courses on offer cover a range of levels, from everyday maths and the use of email and social media at work to more advanced training. All courses are available online and are flexible so that people can work through them at their own pace.

The Skills Toolkit can be accessed here:

Guidance on recruiting a qualified international teacher

The International Teacher Recruitment Programme and Spain’s Visiting Teacher’s Programme will continue to recruit international teachers for the 2020-21 academic year. We are focusing on recruiting international teachers to start in January 2021 rather than September 2020, in case travel restrictions and the closure of visa application centres continue for some time.

The guidance on recruiting a qualified international teacher can be found here:

The guidance on recruiting teachers from Spain to teach modern foreign languages can be found here:

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 hotline.

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:

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:

Collection of guidance for educational settings on GOV.​UK

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

Our main schools guidance, the ‘actions for schools during the coronavirus outbreak’ will be regularly kept up to date. Any new advice for schools on specific issues, such as food, exams or safeguarding, will be linked from: