COVID-19 Updates

July 17, 2020

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


Recruitment and planning for September resourcing

As set out in our guidance on the full opening of schools, we recommend that schools continue to recruit remotely over the summer period if required.

To help schools to find newly qualified teachers (NQTs) who are seeking roles, we have developed a specific page on the Teaching Vacancies service where NQTs can sign up to receive job alertswhen suitable jobs are posted matching their search criteria. We are working with initial teacher training (ITT) providers to share this information with their NQT network. To reach this NQT audience, hiring schools should tick the ‘suitable for NQTs’ box on Teaching Vacancies when listing a role.

We have also developed a page where schools and NQTs can find information to support them when preparing for induction. This page clarifies the expectations of schools and further education colleges, and provides advice based on user research that we carried out in April 2020.

Use of supply teachers

Schools considering their supply teacher needs can get one to one support from Crown Commercial Services on how to use the agency supply deal to secure great value teachers. Email the team with your school’s details and your contact details, and an expert will be in touch.

Recruiting teachers and other skilled workers from overseas: becoming a visa sponsor

You may need to become a visa sponsor if you want to employ teachers or other skilled workers from anywhere outside the UK and Ireland from 1 January 2021. You can apply to become a sponsor now.

All overseas nationals arriving in the UK from 1 January 2021, including those from the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland, will come under the UK’s new points-based immigration system.

If you are planning to employ someone from overseas on another immigration route, such as the youth mobility scheme route, you may not need to become a sponsor.

If you are planning to employ an EEA or Swiss citizen who is living in the UK by 31 December 2020 then you will not need to become a sponsor if they gain settled or pre-settled status through the EU Settlement Scheme.

Adoption and children regulations

We are seeking views on proposed changes to the Adoption and Children (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 that were introduced to provide local authorities and children’s social care providers with temporary flexibilities during coronavirus (COVID-19).

The amendments are temporary and will expire on 25 September 2020. We are proposing to extend a small number of these to manage future challenges.

The consultation closes at 11:45pm on 5 August 2020.

The information below has not changed since yesterday.

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 (COVID-19) helpline – change to opening hours

The Department for Education coronavirus (COVID-19) 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 by calling 0800 046 8687.

From Monday 27 July, the helpline will be closed on weekends. We will continue to be available to answer your calls Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm.

Change in frequency of the coronavirus (COVID-19) email updates from Monday 20 July

From Monday 20 July, we will be reducing the frequency of email updates from every weekday, to one email per week which will be sent on a Monday for the duration of the summer holidays. We plan to resume sending daily updates from Monday 24 August in preparation for the start of the autumn term.

Feedback survey on the coronavirus (COVID-19) email updates from Department for Education (DfE)

We began sending a daily email update to schools and further education providers, and local authorities to cascade to early years providers and children’s social care providers, in March 2020 to share information on the Government’s response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

We would be pleased to hear your feedback on the daily email update to help us improve it. Please spare 2 minutes to complete our short feedback survey.

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.

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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