Coronavirus Information 7th October 2020

7th October 2020

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

Look up your unique organisation number (UON)

The unique organisation number (UON) for ordering new coronavirus (COVID-19) test kits was emailed to schools and further education providers by the Department of Health and Social Care on 16 September. If you have not received your UON you can now look it up using your unique reference number (URN) or your UK provider reference number (UKPRN) or by calling the Test and Trace helpdesk on 119.

Updates to the daily online attendance return to the Department for Education

Thank you for completing the daily attendance return. It is important that you continue to complete the educational setting status form every day.

Your data helps us build a national picture of educational provision, monitor the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and focus support more effectively.

Your data informs analysis that is used in multiple ways across government, including by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE).

In response to your feedback we will be making the following changes from Monday 12 October:

  •          extending the deadline for completing the form to 2pm
  •          simplifying the first question so that settings can report their status more specifically

Previously, we have only asked partially or fully closed schools and colleges to provide data on coronavirus (COVID-19) related absence.

We will now be asking all schools and colleges to provide the number of absences due to:

  •          a suspected case of coronavirus (COVID-19)
  •          a confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19)
  •          potential contact with a case of coronavirus (COVID-19) inside the setting
  •          potential contact with a case of coronavirus (COVID-19) outside the setting

This information will help us continue to monitor the impact of local infection rates on education.

Further guidance on completing the educational setting status form and the full list of questions for schools can be found in the guidance on recording attendance during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. We will issue the guidance for further education colleges shortly.

We will continue to review the need for this daily data return and issue updates accordingly.

Hosting initial teacher training trainees in schools

We continue to strongly encourage schools to consider hosting initial teacher training (ITT) trainees. ITT trainees are included in the definition of a critical worker and have the potential to play a significant role in supporting schools this year. Trainees take responsibility, with the usual mentor oversight, for small groups of pupils, creating online learning materials, re-planning sequences of lessons or delivering catch-up lessons.

Temporary relaxations to the ITT criteria mean that placements can be more flexible than ever this year, so there is scope to agree an arrangement that suits your school while complying with all legislation, criteria and guidance relevant to ITT.

Learn more about hosting trainees by contacting ITT providers in your area. Further information on the roles that trainees can play in schools can be found in our guidance on the actions for schools during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

School workload reduction toolkit

The school workload reduction toolkit contains practical resources for school leaders and teachers to help reduce workload. The resources in this toolkit have been produced by school leaders, teachers and other sector experts in conjunction with the Department for Education and have been tested with a range of schools across England.
You can use these resources to:

  •          identify workload issues in your school
  •          address workload issues in your school (such as feedback and marking)
  •          evaluate the impact of workload reduction measures

You can adapt these resources to fit your school context. They can help you start to reduce workloads or can complement what you are already doing to reduce workload.

This toolkit has been designed for schools, however it can also be used in colleges and other educational settings.

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

Public Health England’s (PHE’s) dedicated advice service opening hours

Public Health England’s (PHE’s) 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).

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.