COVID-19 Updates

August 11, 2020

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


Resources for students receiving their GCSE, AS and A level qualifications this summer

Ofqual has published resources for students receiving their qualifications this summer. These resources include a student guide to post-16 qualification results that provides students with additional information to help them understand how their results have been awarded, what to expect on results day, and the options available to them if they are unhappy with their result.

Ofqual has also published a student guide to appeals and malpractice or maladministration complaints in summer 2020. This information will help students understand if they have a reason to make an appeal or a complaint about malpractice or maladministration, including concerns about bias or discrimination.

The exam results helpline available from 12 to 28 August

The exam results helpline, delivered by the National Careers Service, will be available from 12 to 28 August to provide additional support to students and their parents as they receive their exam results. Callers to the helpline will have direct access to experienced careers advisers who can advise on the different options available to them including T levels, A levels, GCSEs, BTECs, apprenticeships and other vocational options. Support will also be available on topics such as clearing, university, gap years and the autumn 2020 exam series.

Phone: 0800 100 900

Opening hours: Monday to Sunday from 8am to 10pm

Register your school’s interest in the National Tutoring Programme

From autumn 2020, schools will be able to access support for children and young people who have been most affected by school closures during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak through the National Tutoring Programme. Tutoring will begin from the second half of the autumn term and increase through the spring term 2021. To register your interest in joining this programme, visit the National Tutoring Programme website.

Guidance for school sixth forms, colleges and all other 16 to 19 providers on delivering small group tutoring activity for disadvantaged 16 to 19 students whose studies have been disrupted as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19) will be issued shortly.

Additional laptops and tablets available to support schools and disadvantaged families in the event face-to-face education is disrupted

All children will return to school from September, however we recognise that there will be an ongoing role for remote education in the event a school is required to close temporarily as a result of local coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreaks.

We are providing laptops and tablets to help children and families access remote education during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. This offer is in addition to 200,000 devices and 4G wireless routers already distributed between May and July 2020 to local authorities and trusts for disadvantaged pupils in year 10, care leavers and young people with a social worker.

Full details on how schools can access digital devices and how they will be allocated is available in our guidance on getting laptops and tablets for children who cannot attend schools due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

We have also published guidance for local authorities, academy trusts and schools on how to manage devices provided during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Guidance on recording non-attendance due to coronavirus (COVID-19)

We have published guidance explaining how schools should record non-attendance due to coronavirus (COVID-19) in the attendance register in the 2020 to 2021 academic year. Although school attendance is mandatory from the start of the autumn term, there may be circumstances where pupils cannot attend school due to coronavirus (COVID-19), such as if they are required to self-isolate.

To ensure schools record this accurately and consistently, we have made changes to the regulations governing school attendance registers to add a new category of non-attendance – ‘not attending in circumstances related to coronavirus (COVID-19)’.

Ofqual announces changes to exams and assessments in 2021

On Monday 3 August, Ofqual confirmed the changes exam boards will be required to make to exams and assessments in 2021, which includes changes to 15 A level and 25 GCSE subjects. Full details of the changes that will be made can be found in Ofqual’s consultation decisions on the proposed changed to the assessment of GCSEs, AS and A levels in 2021.

Ofqual consultation on the assessment and awarding of Vocational, Technical, and other General Qualification in 2020 to 2021

Ofqual has published its consultation proposals and launched an open consultation on the arrangements and awarding of Vocational, Technical and other General Qualifications in 2020 to 2021. The deadline for responses to the consultation is 14 August.

Buying for schools during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

We have published guidance on buying for schools during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. This guidance is for buyers in schools and those who manage supplier contracts including procurement policy notes, free school meals and personal protective equipment.

Data collections due to continue

To help reduce the burden on educational and care settings, the Department for Education and its agencies cancelled or paused all but the most essential data collections, services and requests in April.

We can confirm that the following collections, in addition to those already in place, will now continue:

  • Financial Management Governance Self-Assessment (FMGS)
  • Academy Trust Account Submission cover sheet
  • Annual Technical and Vocational Qualification Review Process

We can confirm that the following collection has been cancelled:

  • Parental responsibility measures attendance (PRMA) census

The information below has not changed since our last update.

Department for Education coronavirus (COVID-19) helpline

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:

Phone: 0800 046 8687.

Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm.

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:


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