COVID-19 Updates

July 6, 2020

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


Case studies on plans for schools opening to all children in autumn

United Learning has worked with a range of schools to publish some useful case studies on how they’re planning to re-open in the autumn term.

These case studies draw on examples from head teachers as to how they will implement the Department’s guidance for the return to school in September.

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

Ofsted autumn plans as schools and colleges prepare to open to all children

Ofsted has announced its plans for the autumn as schools and colleges open to all children. Routine inspections will remain suspended for the autumn term, with a plan to resume in January 2021. In the autumn term, Ofsted will be carrying out ‘visits’ to schools and colleges, not inspections. These will look at how schools and colleges are getting pupils back up to speed after so long at home and will not be graded.

PE and Sport Premium funding for schools

The Secretary of State for Education, Gavin Williamson, announced yesterday that schools in England will benefit from £320 million from the PE and Sport Premium during the academic year 2020-21. The PE and Sport Premium is designed to help children get an active start in life, supporting primary schools to improve the quality of their PE and sport provision so that pupils experience the benefits of regular exercise – from becoming healthier both mentally and physically, to improved behaviour and better academic achievement.

We have also confirmed that any PE and Sport Premium funding from the current academic year (2019-20) that schools were unable to use as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak can be brought forward to use in the next academic year, giving head teachers an opportunity to develop or add to their existing provision, or to make improvements that will benefit pupils joining the school in future years.

Covid Summer Food Fund

The Covid Summer Food Fund will enable children who are eligible for benefits-related free school meals (FSM) to be supported over the summer holiday period. All vouchers for the summer holidays must be ordered at least one week before your school’s summer term ends. The costs will be met centrally by the Department for Education.

Please read the guidance in full before ordering to ensure your orders are processed correctly.

Extension to the Breakfast Clubs programme

We confirmed on Friday that the charity coordinators of the National Breakfast Club Programme, Family Action and Magic Breakfast, will work closely with schools in disadvantaged areas so that the children most in need can continue to get a healthy breakfast in July and August.

Children from more than 1,800 schools in England who are currently part of our Breakfast Clubs programme will now be offered healthy breakfasts over the summer. The extension of the Breakfast Clubs programme will help to support families on low incomes who, as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, may be finding it hard to provide healthy food for their children outside of the school term.

The information below has not changed since yesterday.

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.

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 utside) but using hand sanitiser provides none of the virus-destroying friction that rubbing your hands together and rinsing with water provides.

Please see the latest guidance and video on handwashing from the NHS.

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.


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