Coronavirus Information 2nd October 2020

2nd October 2020

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

Remote education provision in primary and secondary schools

Where a class, group or a small number of pupils need to self-isolate, or local restrictions require pupils to remain at home, we expect schools to have the capacity to offer immediate remote education. Schools should ensure remote education, where needed, is high-quality and aligns as closely as possible with in-school provision.

The Secretary of State for Education has issued a continuity direction that requires schools to provide remote education for state-funded, school-age children unable to attend school due to coronavirus (COVID-19). We have published guidance that explains the purpose of the various provisions within the Coronavirus Act 2020 Provision of Remote Education (England) Temporary Continuity Direction.

Schools are expected to consider how to continue to improve the quality of their existing curriculum, for example through technology, and have a strong contingency plan in place for remote education.

We have published guidance on remote education good practice which should be used by staff who are responsible for the curriculum and its delivery in schools. It offers suggestions to help schools meet the expectations for remote education set out in the actions for schools during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Remote education webinars for primary and secondary teachers

We are offering two school-led webinars on remote education to help share good practice with teachers in primary and secondary schools. During these webinars teachers will be sharing what has worked for them when teaching remotely. They will last for 45 minutes and presenters will also answer questions from the audience.

You can attend the webinars using the Microsoft Teams links below:

Each webinar is limited to a capacity of 10,000 viewers, however if you are unable to attend, recordings of each webinar will be available to watch after the live events through the Department for Education YouTube channel.

Get laptops and tablets for children who cannot attend school or college due to coronavirus (COVID-19)

We are providing laptops and tablets to schools and colleges to help children and families access remote education during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Schools and colleges will receive an allocation of devices to be used to support disadvantaged children who are otherwise unable to access remote education. The number of devices available to order through the get help with technology service reflects the number of laptops and tablets we estimate are needed by each school or college. This calculation is based on:

  • the number of children in years 3 to 11
  • free school meals data
  • an estimate of the number of devices a school or college already has

Devices can be ordered for disadvantaged children in years 3 to 11 who are unable to attend school when:

  • a primary school is only open to vulnerable children and the children of critical workers
  • a secondary school or college is only open to vulnerable children and the children of critical workers
  • a school has 15 or more children in years 3 to 11 who are self-isolating, having each been exposed to a confirmed case outside the school community
  • a local health protection team has advised a group of children in years 3 to 11 (such as a ‘bubble’ or year group) not to attend school
  • a school or college is fully open but supporting a disadvantaged child living in another area who is unable to attend due to local travel restrictions

Full details on how and when schools and colleges can access digital devices can be found in get laptops and tablets for children who cannot attend school or college due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

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 to your nursery, school, or college’s current situation.

Staff, parents and young people 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

Information education settings should have to hand when they call for advice on a positive case

Public Health England’s (PHE) dedicated advice service, delivered by NHS Business Services Authority, is available to early years settings, schools, colleges and out of school settings. The service is for those needing support on the action they 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).

It can be reached by calling the Department for Education coronavirus (COVID-19) helpline on 0800 046 8687 and selecting option 1 to report a positive test within your setting. This option will take you through to a dedicated team of NHS Business Services Authority advisors who will work through a risk assessment with you to identify close contacts, and will inform you what action is needed based on the latest public health advice. Advisors will be responsible for referring more complex cases to the PHE regional health protection team, as necessary, following a triaging of your circumstances during the call.

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

When you call for advice, please have the following information to hand relating to the positive coronavirus (COVID-19) case in your setting as you will need to discuss this with the call adviser:

  • the number of positive cases in your setting, whether the person who tested positive is displaying symptoms and if so, the date of the onset of the symptoms (if known)
  • the dates that the person who tested positive was in attendance at the setting so that we can identify if the person was infections whilst on site
  • for key stage 2, 3, 4 and 5, the seating plan for all lessons, and (where relevant) the timetable, for the person who has tested positive. This will help to support identification of close contacts with that person
  • for key stage 2, 3, 4 and 5, if the person who has tested positive is a member of staff, records of any instance of close contact with other members of staff or students
  • if the person who has tested positive is a pupil, records of any definite face to face contact with the individual and details of their friendship group within the setting

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