Coronavirus Information 5th October 2020

5th October 2020

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

Personal protective equipment available to children’s homes, secure children’s homes and residential special schools

Children’s homes, secure children’s homes and residential special schools are able to order personal protective equipment (PPE) free of charge from the Department of Health and Social Care PPE portal. The PPE should be used strictly in accordance with guidance on safe working in education, childcare and children's social care settings, and should not be re-purposed or used for non-coronavirus (COVID-19) related situations.

Eligible settings have been sent an email inviting them to register for the PPE portal. Emails have been sent to the address that we hold on Get Information About Schools (GIAS). Please check your inbox for the invitation email and use the link provided to register for the PPE portal.

If you have not received this invitation email, please contact the Department of Health and Social Care customer service support team:

Phone: 0800 876 6802
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday, 7am to 7pm

Callers will be asked to provide their Unique Reference Number (URN) when contacting the team to authenticate their eligibility.

Education and childcare services that cannot request PPE via the PPE Portal should contact their local authority if they have a critical unmet need for PPE. The Department of Health and Social Care are seeking to establish bespoke arrangements with those local resilience forums and local authorities that would like to assume a role in distributing Department of Health and Social Care funded PPE to meet the coronavirus (COVID-19) related needs of education and childcare services. Further details will be available soon.

PPE is only required in a very small number of cases, such as if an individual develops symptoms and a distance of two metres cannot be maintained, or where an individual already has routine intimate care needs that involves the use of PPE.

The information below hasn’t changed since our last update

Please keep your Get Information About Schools (GIAS) contacts up to date

Please take this opportunity to review all of your contact information in Get Information About Schools (GIAS). Keeping your details up to date will ensure that you continue to receive the most up to date information from the Department for Education and from the Department of Health and Social Care who are providing schools and colleges with coronavirus (COVID-19) testing kits. For academy trusts, this will also ensure compliance with the Academies Financial Handbook.

To update your record, please go to the GIAS home page, “Sign in” using your “DfE Sign-in” credentials and select GIAS from your available services

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 infectious 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.