Latest Updates re Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance from Public Health England and the DfE
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 and children’s social care. Staff, parents and young people can contact this helpline by calling: 0800 046 8687. Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm. To support the transition back to education, we have extended our opening hours and are now available 10am to 4pm on Saturday and Sunday. Please listen carefully to the available options and select the most appropriate to your nursery, school, or college’s current situation.
**New national restrictions to come into force on Thursday 5 November**
On Saturday 31 October, the Prime Minister announced new national restrictions that will come into force on Thursday 5 November for 4 weeks until Wednesday 2 December.
The Government will continue to prioritise the wellbeing and long-term futures of our children and young people and will not be closing early years settings, schools, colleges or universities. It remains very important for children and young people to attend, to support their wellbeing and education and help working parents and guardians. Senior clinicians still advise that school is the best place for children to be, and so they should continue to go to school.
Until Thursday 5 November, the relevant Local COVID Alert Level measures will continue to apply in the area where you live. From Thursday, the national restrictions replace the local restrictions in your area.
**Update 13th October**
Prime Minister announces new local COVID Alert Levels
Yesterday, the Prime Minister set out how the government will further simplify and standardise local rules by introducing a three-tiered system of local COVID Alert Levels in England – medium, high and very high. Further information on what you can and cannot do if you live, work or travel in each of the local COVID Alert Levels can be found using the links below:
These rules will apply from 00:01 on Wednesday 14 October. Current local guidance must be followed until this time. The government has prioritised ensuring all children can attend school safely, to support their wellbeing and education and help working parents and guardians. The tiers of restriction for education and childcare, summarised in annex 3 of the Contain Framework and in guidance on higher education, are not in scope of the Local COVID Alert Level framework. Decisions on any restrictions necessary in education or childcare settings are taken separately on a case-by-case basis in the light of local circumstances, including information about the incidence and transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19). Our guidance to support education providers, local authorities and parents during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak can be accessed using the links below:
**Update 25th September**
Letter to share with parents on coronavirus (COVID-19) testing
Public Health England has produced a letter for schools and colleges to share with parents which explains when a child requires a coronavirus (COVID-19) test and what the symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are.
**Update 23rd September**
Further coronavirus (COVID-19) measures announced by the Prime Minister
Yesterday, the Prime Minister announced further national measures to address the rising cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in England. These measures will begin to come into force from Thursday onwards. It is vital that children and young people continue to receive an education, therefore, schools, colleges and universities will remain open. Full details of the new measures and when they come into force can be found in the guidance on what has changed: 22 September.
**Update 22nd September**
New coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions announced by the Prime Minister: Today, the Prime Minister has announced a series of new coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions that will begin to come into force from Thursday onwards. It is vital that children and young people continue to receive an education, therefore, schools, colleges and universities will remain open.
We have translated our guidance for parents and carers with children in nursery, school, or college in the autumn term. The guidance is now available in the following languages:
**Update 10th September**
A new public information campaign has been launched ahead of winter to highlight how everyone can help to stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). Yesterday the Prime Minister launched the ‘Hands, Face, Space’ campaign urging the public to continue to wash their hands, cover their face and make space to control infection rates and avoid a second peak.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) is an easy virus to kill when it is on skin. It is essential that everyone washes their hands more often, using soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
**Update 2nd September**
Updated guidance for parents and carers
The DfE have updated guidance for parents and carers on what they need to know about early years providers, schools and colleges during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. This update provides information on school admission appeals, entry tests for selective schools, and exams and assessments in the autumn term. The DfE have also provided further information on the use of face coverings in schools and links to online resources that are available to help parents, carers and children with their mental health and wellbeing.
**Update 18th August**
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: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/what-parents-and-carers-need-to-know-about-early-years-providers-schools-and-colleges-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak
Launch of the #backtoschoolsafely campaign:
The DfE have launched the #backtoschoolsafely campaign to reassure parents and students that schools and colleges are ready for their return in September. This is part of the Government’s wider Stay Alert campaign. You will see newspaper and billboard advertising from 18th August, with radio and digital adverts from Monday 24 August, which will run until early September, alongside wider engagement with the teaching profession and local communities. The latest statistics from the Office for National Statistics show there is growing confidence among parents that their children will return to school in September, testament to the hard work of school staff. Parents are encouraged to visit gov.uk/backtoschool for information and practical guidance to help them plan for their children’s return to school.