Coronavirus Information 3rd July 2020

3rd July 2020

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

Ofqual consultation on 2021 exams and assessments

Yesterday, Ofqual published its consultation proposals on arrangements for GCSEs, AS and A levels in 2021. The deadline for responses to the consultation is 16 July.

Ofqual is also working with the sector to agree approaches for vocational and technical qualifications (VTQ). On 2 July Ofqual published their factors and principles shaping the operation and regulation of vocational and technical qualifications’ assessments for 2020/21, and will set out, in the coming weeks, the measures it expects awarding organisations to take.

The consultation proposal and the VTQ position paper can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/ofqual-launches-consultation-on-2021-exams-and-assessments

Ofqual has also updated their guidance on Summer 2020 grades for GCSE, AS and A level, Extended Project Qualification and Advanced Extension Award in maths to reflect the autumn 2020 consultation decision outcomes.

Plans for all children and young people to return to full-time education at the start of the autumn term

Yesterday, the Secretary of State for Education, Gavin Williamson, announced our plans for all children and young people to return to full-time education at the start of the autumn term.

We published the supporting guidance yesterday that provides schools, colleges and nurseries with the details to plan for a full return. The guidance, listed below, has been developed in close consultation with sector stakeholders and medical experts from Public Health England.

The guidance for the full opening of schools from the start of the autumn term can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak

The updated guidance on actions for early years and childcare providers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak can be found here:

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

The new guidance for the full opening of special schools and other specialist settings from the start of the autumn term can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-for-full-opening-special-schools-and-other-specialist-settings

The new guidance on what further education colleges and providers will need to do from the start of the 2020 autumn term can be found here:

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

The guidance for what parents and carers need to know about early years providers, schools and colleges in the autumn term can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/what-parents-and-carers-need-to-know-about-early-years-providers-schools-and-colleges-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak

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.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/best-way-to-wash-your-hands/

The e-Bug project is led by Public Health England and has a dedicated webpage for learning resources on hand washing and respiratory hygiene. E-Bug has published posters on hand hygiene, and covering coughs and sneezes, to display in bathrooms, classrooms and shared spaces.

The hand and respiratory hygiene posters and other educational resources can be found here:

https://e-bug.eu