COVID-19 Updates

July 14, 2020

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


Updated guidance for further education colleges and providers

We have updated our guidance on what further education colleges and providers will need to do from the start of the 2020 autumn term and confirmed that they can now make arrangements for learners aged 19+ to return to onsite delivery from 13 July, where this can be safely accommodated.

You should prioritise post-19 learners for return onsite as soon as is practical in the following priority order:

  1. Learners who have had their assessments delayed and were due to complete level 2 or 3 programmes between March and July 2020
  2. Apprentices
  3. Learners participating in level 1 and below learning
  4. Community education provision

You should assess how many learners can safely attend while observing the summer term protective measures requirements.

Investment in traineeships and apprenticeships for young people announced

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced that businesses will receive a cash payment for every apprentice they hire, with a payment of £2,000 per apprentice under the age of 25, and a payment of £1,500 for apprentices aged 25 and over. These payments are in addition to, where appropriate, the existing £1,000 payment made to employers who employ a 16 to 18 year old apprentice or an apprentice aged under 24 with an Education, Health and Care Plan.

Businesses offering new traineeships in England will also receive a £1,000 bonus per new trainee, with triple the number of places available.

Over £100 million is also to be invested in providing more places on level 2 and 3 courses to help 18 to 19 year olds leaving school or college to find work.

The information below has not changed since yesterday.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson to address all school leavers

On Friday 10 July at 10am, the Prime Minister will be giving an address to all school leavers which will be broadcast on Facebookand YouTube.

Please encourage your final year students to tune in!

A recording of the address will be available to view on both platforms.

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:

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.

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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