Coronavirus update 3rd August 2020

3rd August 2020

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

Local lockdowns: guidance for education and childcare settings

An outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) has been identified in parts of Greater Manchester, East Lancashire and West Yorkshire. The government and relevant local authorities are acting together to control the spread of the virus. Further information on the affected local areas, local restrictions and changes in restrictions are set out in the guidance published by Department for Health and Social Care on North of England local restrictions.

All registered early years and childcare settings, including childminders, may continue to provide education and childcare to all children. They should continue to follow the national guidance for early years and childcare settings.

Providers offering holiday clubs, tuition or other activities to children may also remain open as usual and should continue to follow the national guidance on protective measures for holiday and after-school clubs and other out-of-school settings.

Extension of self-isolation period to 10 days

The UK Chief Medical Officer, Chris Whitty, has announced that the self-isolation period for people that have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) or that have received a positive test result has now increased from 7 to 10 days.

Testing is available to anyone who has symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), whatever their age. Tests are free and can be requested through a single portal on GOV.​UK.

Updated guidance for early years and childcare providers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

We have updated our guidance for early years and childcare providers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak to reflect the change in legislation to the 30 hours free entitlement and tax-free childcare offers that came into force on 31 July 2020 and will be in effect until 5 April 2021.

We have also updated the guidance to reflect that early years settings can now return to normal group sizes. Early years settings should still consider how they can minimise mixing within settings, keeping groups apart as much as possible.

Updated guidance for schools during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

We have updated our guidance for schools during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, to provide additional advice on the return of staff who are clinically vulnerable and clinically extremely vulnerable to work. We have also provided advice to schools who are planning to open their doors to pupils on results day.

This year results cannot be released to students until 8am (rather than 6am as in previous years). UCAS and higher education institutions will also not communicate any confirmation on decisions while the results are under embargo.

Resources for students receiving their GCSE, AS and A level qualifications this summer

Ofqual has published resources for students receiving their qualifications this summer. These resources include a student guide to post-16 qualification results that provides students with additional information to help them understand how their results have been awarded, what to expect on results day, options available to them if they are unhappy with their result, and details on the appeals process for GCSE, AS and A levels.

Early years foundation stage statutory framework (EYFS)

We have updated the early years foundation stage (EYFS) statutory framework to reflect the extension of the validity of current paediatric first aid certificates. If paediatric first aid certificate requalification training is prevented for reasons associated directly with coronavirus (COVID-19), the validity of current certificates can be extended to 25 November 2020 at the latest. Employers or certificate holders must do their best to arrange requalification training at the earliest opportunity. This applies to certificates which expired on or after 16 March 2020.

Changes to the law on education, health and care needs assessments and plans due to coronavirus (COVID-19)

The Secretary of State for Education has announced that, unless the evidence changes, the Department for Education will not be issuing further national notices after 31 July to modify section 42 of the Children and Families Act 2014, the duty to secure special education and health care provision in accordance with education health and care plans.

We have updated our guidance for education, health and care needs assessments and plans on the temporary legislative changes relating to coronavirus (COVID-19) to reflect this decision.

Redundancy support service for apprentices

To support apprentices who have been made redundant or think they might be in the future, we have launched the Redundancy Support Service for Apprentices.

Apprentices can call 0800 015 0400 to get free advice, find new opportunities, and access local and national support services offering financial, health and wellbeing, legal and careers advice.

Updated guidance on providing apprenticeships during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education has announced that all end point assessment flexibilities put in place due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak will be extended until the end of the year. We have also introduced a temporary flexibility to allow apprenticeship certificates to be sent to an alternative address if the employers office is closed.

Further details on these changes can be found in the guidance on providing apprenticeships during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Updated guidance on student number controls

We have updated the guidance for higher education providers on student number controls to provide updated advice on the merging of two or more providers to form a single provider and franchising arrangements.

Guidance for prospective and current students

The Student Loans Company has updated their guidance for prospective students and current students to include information on student finance whilst working from home during the 2020-2021 academic year.

The Skills Toolkit: submit a new course

The Skills Toolkit, which was launched in April 2020, is an online learning platform to help people boost their skills while staying at home. We now want to add additional courses to the platform which cover digital, numeracy and work readiness or employability, and add a wider range of materials available to participants. We are particularly interested in courses which are useful for apprentices, graduates and those recently unemployed, and provide useful skills for growing sectors and occupations.

We have published details on the course criteria and how providers can submit course content for inclusion in the toolkit. The deadline for applications is 11:55pm Monday 17 August.


The information below has not changed since our last update.


Department for Education coronavirus (COVID-19) helpline

The Department for Education coronavirus (COVID-19) 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 by calling:

Phone: 0800 046 8687.   
 
Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm.

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

The guidance for the full opening of schools, early years and colleges at the start of the autumn can be found here: