COVID-19 Updates

September 1, 2020

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


Educational settings status form to resume on 1 September

From Tuesday 1 September, or the start of term if after this date, schools and colleges will be asked to resume completing the daily educational setting status form. We ask that you complete the form by 12 noon daily. We have reduced the number of questions we ask so that you can complete this quickly. The information you provide through the form is essential to supporting the Government’s response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Tomorrow, we will provide further information on how to complete the educational setting status form, the questions we will be asking and a link to the form.

Updated guidance on the use of face coverings in education

On 21 August, the World Health Organisation (WHO) updated their advice on when children over the age of 12 should wear face coverings. The WHO now advise that “children aged 12 and over should wear a mask under the same conditions as adults, in particular when they cannot guarantee at least a 1-metre distance from others and there is widespread transmission in the area”.

As a result, the government has revised the guidance on face coverings for staff and children in Year 7 or above in England. From 1 September new advice will apply to the use of face coverings by staff and pupils in school years 7 or above and learners in further education in England.

In areas of local intervention, face coverings should be worn by adults and pupils in secondary schools and colleges when moving around, such as in corridors and communal areas where social distancing is difficult to maintain.

Nationwide, schools and colleges will have the discretion to require face coverings in communal areas where social distancing cannot be safely managed, if they believe that is right in their particular circumstances.

Schools and further education institutions to receive delivery of personal protective equipment (PPE)

Schools and further education institutions will shortly receive a delivery of a small amount of personal protective equipment (PPE). This one-off distribution of PPE will contain clinical face masks, aprons, gloves and visors, as well as the hand sanitiser needed to put on and take off PPE. The PPE is being provided free of charge by the Department of Health and Social Care to help build resilience across the education sector to respond to any suspected cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) arising in schools and colleges. Deliveries, which began on 26 August, are packaged by Clipper and delivered by Royal Mail. Visors will be sent as a separate delivery from the rest of the PPE.

As set out in our guidance on safe working in education, childcare and children’s social care settings, PPE is only needed if a child, young person or other learner becomes ill with coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms in school or college, and only then if a distance of 2 metres cannot be maintained. The symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.

Guidance for schools and further education providers on home testing kits

We have published guidance for schools and further education providers on the initial supply of coronavirus (COVID-19) home testing kits. This guidance provides information on when these test kits should be provided, how to store them and the usual routes for accessing free coronavirus (COVID-19) testing.

Home test kits should only be offered in the exceptional circumstance that you believe a pupil or student may have barriers to accessing testing elsewhere.

Summary guidance on appeals for GCSE, AS and A level grade in summer 2020

Ofqual has published guidance on appeals, malpractice and maladministration complaints for students who received their GCSE, AS and A level grades in England in summer 2020, summarising the information they have previously published and including contact details for additional help and support.

Exam Results Helpline available until 28 August

The Exam Results Helpline, delivered by the National Careers Service, will be available until 28 August to provide additional support to students and their parents as they receive their 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 exam series.

Phone: 0800 100 900

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

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.
Monday 31 August (Bank Holiday) from 10am to 4pm.