Coronavirus update 23rd october 2020

23rd October 2020

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

Laptops, tablets and 4G wireless routers progress data

We are changing how we allocate laptops and tablets. This is to get them to those in greatest need as effectively as we can.

We have purchased a further 96,000 devices, bringing our total reserve for this term to almost 350,000. Meanwhile, the data we’re seeing suggests most schools have small groups of children self-isolating at any one time rather than closing. We’re changing allocations to reflect this, which will help us to deliver devices where and when they are needed as quickly as possible.

Where schools close fully, we’ll email them to explain what their options are, including how to request more devices. Schools can see their new allocation by signing into the get help with technology service.

We have also published new information on how many laptops, tablets and 4G wireless routers we have delivered or dispatched up to 23 October 2020.

Department for Education coronavirus (COVID-19) helpline – extended weekend opening hours

The Department for Education coronavirus (COVID-19) helpline is available to answer questions about coronavirus (COVID-19) relating to education settings and children’s social care. To increase our support to staff, parents and students we are extending our weekend opening hours to 6pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Please listen carefully to all of the available options before selecting the most appropriate option for your nursery, school, college or university.

Please select option 1 or 2 if you require specific advice on the action to take to respond to a positive case of coronavirus (COVID-19) in 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.

Please select option 3 or 4 for any other questions about coronavirus (COVID-19) relating to education settings and children’s social care.

Phone: 0800 046 8687
Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm
Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 6pm

Daily online attendance return to the Department for Education during half term

Thank you for completing the daily educational setting status form. Please note that if your school or college is now closed for a half term break, you do not need to complete the form.

Please resume completing the form on the first day that your school or college reopens after half term. Further information can be found in our guidance on how to complete the educational setting status form.

What to do if a pupil is displaying symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19)

We have published a list of actions that early years, schools and further education colleges must follow in the event that a child or young person displays symptoms or if they confirm they have tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19). The action lists are sector specific and print friendly. They can be accessed using these links:

The Joint Biosecurity Centre has also published Action Cards to provide the latest instructions for anyone responsible for businesses or organisations on how to identify, report and respond to coronavirus (COVID-19) cases. This includes action cards for the education sector.


The information below hasn’t changed since our last update


Look up your unique organisation number (UON)

If you have not received your unique organisation number (UON) for ordering new coronavirus (COVID-19) test kits you can can 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

Department for Education guidance

Our guidance to support education providers, local authorities and parents during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak can be accessed using the links below: