This is your daily email to keep you updated on the government’s response to coronavirus (COVID-19).
Updated guidance on the use of face coverings in education
We have updated our guidance on the use of face coverings in education to reflect the end of National Restrictions on 2 December and to provide details on how face coverings should be used under the local restriction tiers.
Consistent with the World Health Organisation’s advice, schools and colleges should take additional precautionary measures in areas defined as either tier 2 or tier 3 under the local restriction tier system. Information on the local restriction tiers can be found in the full list of local restriction tiers by area guidance.
When an area moves to the local restriction tier 2 or tier 3, in education settings where year 7 and above are educated, face coverings should be worn by adults (staff and visitors) and pupils when moving around indoors, such as in corridors and communal areas where social distancing is difficult to maintain. As in the general approach, it will not usually be necessary to wear face coverings in the classroom, where protective measures already mean the risks are lower, and they may inhibit teaching and learning.
Updated guidance on the use of face coverings when travelling to school or college
Face coverings are an important measure in reducing the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19), particularly in enclosed spaces. Children aged 11 and over are required to wear a face covering on public transport in England, unless exempt for health, age or disability reasons.
From 2 December, in accordance with advice from Public Health England, children and young people aged 11 and over must wear a face covering when travelling on dedicated transport to secondary school or college, unless they are exempt.
Schools should support local authorities in promoting the use of face coverings when travelling to and from school or college and help them to resolve any issues of non-compliance where appropriate.
The ‘Hands. Face. Space.’ campaign urges everyone to continue to wash their hands, cover their face and make space to control infection rates. The NHS has released a ‘Hands. Face. Space.’ video that may be a useful resource when communicating the importance of wearing a face covering on transport directly to children and young people.
Further information on face coverings can be found in our guidance on transport to school and other places of education: 2020 to 2021 academic year.
Updated guidance on protective measures for providers of holiday or after-school clubs and other out-of-school settings
We have updated our guidance on protective measures for providers of holiday or after-school clubs and other out-of-school settings for children during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak to reflect the end of National Restrictions on 2 December and how these settings should operate under the local restriction tiers.
We have clarified the position under the local restriction tiers for:
• home education
• social distancing
• educational visits and trips
• music, dance and drama performances
Updated guidance for parents and carers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak
We have updated our guidance for parents and carers to reflect the end of National Restrictions on 2 December and how these settings should operate under the local restriction tiers.
We have updated our guidance on what parents and carers need to know about early years providers, schools and colleges to clarify the position under the local restriction tiers for:
- clinically extremely vulnerable children
- face coverings
- music, dance and drama performances
- educational visits and trips
- extra-curricular activities
We have updated our guidance for parents and carers of children attending out-of-school settings to clarify the position under the local restriction tiers for:
- children with health care concerns
- parent and child groups
- music, dance and drama performances
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 coronavirus (COVID-19) relating to education settings and children’s social care.
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
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 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: