COVID-19 Updates

June 17, 2020

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


The Duchess of Cambridge to lead an online assembly on mental wellbeing among children

Tomorrow, the Duchess of Cambridge will lead an online assembly for the Oak National Academy during which she will speak about the importance of mental wellbeing among children. The theme of the Duchess’ assembly is ‘spread a little kindness’ and is based on a lesson plan which is available on the Mentally Healthy Schools platform. This platform was developed in collaboration with children’s mental health charity Place2Be and encourages children to explore ways in which they can show kindness and recognise the benefits of kindness to others.

The Mentally Healthy Schools platform can be accessed here:

The assembly will be live on the Oak National Academy website at 11am on Thursday 18 June and can be accessed here:

A recording of the assembly will be available to view on the Oak National Academy website following the event.

Funding to support further education initial teacher education programme providers and trainees

We recognise the impact that coronavirus (COVID-19) is having on providers and candidates for further education initial teacher education (ITE) programmes, particularly regarding meeting the eligibility criteria for financial incentives where it has not been possible, due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, to provide the required evidence of qualifications. We are therefore extending the deadline by which all prior qualifications must be in place for an applicant to be eligible for further education ITE funding in 2020-21.

Details on the bursaries and grants funding available for further education initial teacher education be found here:

Updates to safe working in education, childcare and children’s social care settings guidance

We have updated our guidance on safe working in education, childcare and children’s social care settings, including the use of personal protective equipment (PPE). The guidance has been updated to reflect recent changes on eligibility and access to testing, clarify PPE requirements for first aid and complex care, and confirm that gudiance on cleaning non-healthcare settings applies following a suspected or confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19) and not in relation to regular, routine cleaning.

The guidance can be found here:

Keeping children safe in education during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

The keeping children safe in education (KCSIE) consultation, which was suspended on 31 March 2020, has now been withdrawn to allow schools and colleges to focus their efforts on responding to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

We have published revised KCSIE guidance for schools and colleges. This guidance is for information only and will come into force on 1 September 2020:–2

Guidance for schools and colleges to support them keeping children safe, including online, during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak can be found here:

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:

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:

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.

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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