COVID-19 Updates

June 10, 2020

** This information is received from the Government and regularly updated


Teaching about mental wellbeing

Following the Government’s announcement on Sunday about additional mental health support for pupils and teachers, we have published a training module that supports the physical health and mental wellbeing section of the statutory relationships, sex and health education curriculum. This is the first of a series of 14 modules to support schools to implement the new curriculum.

We have developed this mental wellbeing teacher training module to help subject leads and teachers understand what they should teach, as well as improving their confidence in delivering mental wellbeing as part of the new curriculum.

The new curriculum becomes statutory in September 2020, but the content in this module may be useful for teachers who are currently working with pupils, either face-to-face or remotely, to support them to maintain good mental health and address issues before they escalate.

Further information on this training module can be found here:

Study launched to monitor prevalence of coronavirus (COVID-19)

The Government has today launched a new voluntary study to assess and monitor the prevalence of coronavirus (COVID-19) among pre-school, primary and secondary school pupils and teachers.

The initial phase will collect data from up to 100 schools across England, with results available over the summer. We are working closely with the Department of Health and Social Care to identify suitable schools that may wish to be part of the initial phase of the study.

Participation from schools is on a voluntary basis, and all parents and guardians will be asked to provide informed consent prior to testing.

Further information on this study can be found here:

EdTech Demonstrator Programme launched to help schools and colleges provide education remotely

We have launched the EdTech Demonstrator programme. This is a network of schools and colleges funded to provide peer-to-peer support on making the best use of technology to support remote education.

EdTech Demonstrators are schools and colleges across the country that exemplify excellence in their use of technology. These establishments will provide training through webinars and recorded content, as well as direct and bespoke support for the schools and colleges that need it most. This includes training on how to use digital education platforms effectively (such as Google G Suite for Education, Microsoft Office 365, etc.) to support pupil’s education and to communicate effectively with the school community. It will also cover related content on digital safeguarding, supporting pupil and teacher wellbeing remotely and using technology to help support the needs of students with special educational needs and disability (SEND). Support can be tailored to the needs of your school or college and will be based on your start point, confidence in technology practices and the time available to senior leaders to engage in this continued professional development offer.

The programme is free to all state-funded schools and colleges across England. Those new to the use of digital education platforms or in receipt of devices from DfE, are particularly encouraged to engage in this programme.

You can find out more about the programme and register your interest in receiving free support here:

Guidance on safeguarding and remote education can be found here:

Funding available for set-up and training on digital education platforms

Funding is available to access expert technical support to get set-up on either Google’s G Suite for Education or Microsoft’s Office 365 Education.

Digital education platforms can help schools to:

  • assign and assess work, providing feedback remotely
  • communicate with staff, pupils and parents, using written word, voice and video
  • facilitate collaboration between groups of pupils and teachers
  • open up opportunities to broadcast assemblies and lessons to pupils

Schools and academy trusts can apply for funding through The Key:

The information below has not changed since yesterday.

Preparing for the wider opening of schools and early years settings

Guidance on the actions for education and childcare settings to prepare for wider opening from 1 June, at the earliest, can be found here:

Guidance on implementing protective measures in education and childcare settings can be found here:

Guidance for early years providers to help them prepare to open their settings for children of all ages from 1 June can be found here:

Guidance for primary schools to help them prepare to open to Reception, year 1 and year 6 from 1 June can be found here:

Guidance for secondary schools to help them prepare to offer face-to-face support to year 10 and year 12 pupils from 15 June can be found here:

Guidance for parents and carers as schools and other education settings in England open to more children and young people can be found here:

Department for Education coronavirus helpline

The Department for Education coronavirus 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 as follows:

Phone: 0800 046 8687

Opening hours:

8am to 6pm – Monday to Friday
10am to 4pm – Saturday and Sunday

If you work in a school, please have your unique reference number (URN or UK PRN) available when calling the helpline.

Updated handwashing advice

It is essential that everyone washes their hands more often, using soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Hand washing with soap employs mechanical action that loosens bacteria and viruses from the skin, rinsing them into the drain. Drying hands afterwards makes the skin less hospitable to the virus. Hand sanitiser can be effective if soap is not available or the situation makes using soap less feasible (i.e. when outside) but using hand sanitiser provides none of the virus-destroying friction that rubbing your hands together and rinsing with water provides.

The latest guidance and video on hand washing can be found at:

The e-Bug project is led by Public Health England and has a dedicated webpage for learning resources on hand washing and respiratory hygiene. E-Bug has published posters on hand hygiene, and covering coughs and sneezes, to display in bathrooms, classrooms and shared spaces.

The hand and respiratory hygiene posters and other educational resources can be found here:

Collection of guidance for educational settings on GOV.​UK

All of the Department for Education’s coronavirus guidance for educational settings can be found in one place on GOV.​UK at:


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